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South Sudan: WHO provides lifesaving health care services to displaced populations and host communities in 22 locations in South Sudan

Source: World Health Organization
Country: South Sudan
18 February 2019, Juba – To increase access and strengthen the capacity of emergency lifesaving health care services focusing on outbreak response for epidemic-prone and vaccine-preventable diseas...

South Sudan: Yei residents torn between hope and despair as they endure fresh ordeals almost six months after new peace deal

Source: UN Mission in South Sudan
Country: South Sudan
JAMES SOKIRI

Vivian Poni, a 38-year-old mother of three, says she has lost trust in anyone in military uniform because to her, it signals hard luck.

“I am considering moving to a refugee camp in ...

World: Note to Correspondents: United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security Holds Sixteenth Consultative Meeting in Addis-Ababa (15 February 2019)

Source: UN Department of Public Information
Country: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, World
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The United Nations-African Union Joi...

South Sudan: With support from WHO, the Ministry of Health to rollout Mobile Phone-Based Surveillance System to every health facility in South Sudan

Source: World Health Organization
Country: South Sudan
15 February 2019, Juba – In 2016, with support from WHO and partners, South Sudan was the first country in the world to roll out “EWARS in a box,” the early warning, alert and response system (EWAR...

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Essential Medicines Bolster Health Facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo as Ebola Threat Looms

Source: Direct Relief
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda
Fatal cases of the disease continue to rise, and health facility staff are taking precautions as they treat patients.

By Lara Cooper

More cases of Ebola were...

Democratic Republic of the Congo: ECHO Factsheet – The Democratic Republic of Congo – (Last updated 13/02/2019)

Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Country: Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda

FACTS & FIGURES

Nearly 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance

More than 2 million new internally displaced people and 998 000 returnees in 2018

810 000 refugees from the DRC in neighbouring countries and 537 000 refugees from the region in the DRC

Nearly 13 million people affected by severe food insecurity

More than 1 million children under five who are severely malnourished (UNOCHA, UNHCR and UNICEF)

EU humanitarian aid:
More than €80 million in 2018

Introduction

The humanitarian response plan for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains the second largest worldwide. Nearly 13 million people in the DRC are in need of humanitarian assistance. The ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak is not yet under control and has become the second largest outbreak in history.

What are the needs?

With nearly 13 million people suffering from severe food insecurity (critical lack of consistent access to enough food), the Democratic Republic of Congo faces the second largest food crisis in the world. According to UNICEF, more than one million children under five years of age in the DRC suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which is a life-threatening condition.

For the past decades, eastern DRC has seen inter-communal violence and militia attacks resulting in mass exodus and a particular pattern of internal displacement movements, known as déplacements pendulaires, where people carry on with their activities at their home area during the day but then retreat to safer places for the night. In 2018, there were over three million people in the DRC who were either internally displaced or who had just returned to their, often destroyed, place of origin. The DRC itself is host to more than 537 000 refugees who arrive mainly from Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan.

With its weak health system, the DRC is prone to epidemics, such as cholera, measles or malaria. The tenth Ebola outbreak in the DRC was declared in August 2018. The disease has since claimed over 500 lives in the conflict-affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

South Sudan: South Sudan – Forced displacement in Central Equatoria (DG ECHO, UNHCR) (ECHO Daily Flash of 15 February 2019)

Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Country: South Sudan

  • There are reports that thousands have been forcibly displaced over the past three weeks in areas surrounding Yei Town in Central Equatoria, along the borders with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC) following scorching and destruction of villages, murder, violence and destruction of livelihoods.

  • The fighting has resulted in a surge in arrivals from South Sudan in the DRC. UNHCR estimates that 5 000 refugees have arrived in border villages near Ingbokolo, in the Ituri province. Large numbers of internally displaced (IDPs) have taken refuge in Yei Town where authorities report the registration of 6 000, with a further 8 000 around Yei. Contingency planning estimates put the possible number of arrivals in Yei up to 20 000. Humanitarian actors have provided food and non-food items but this is inadequate given the current and expected numbers.

  • Humanitarian access outside Yei is severely limited due to ongoing fighting and constraints imposed by the belligerents. The international community is calling on parties to the conflict to ensure free civilian movement and humanitarian access.

World: Stop the War on Children: Protecting Children in 21st Century Conflict

Source: Save the Children
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

At least 100,000 babies die every year because of conflict

More children are living in areas affected by armed conflict than at any time over the past two decades, a new report from Save the Children reveals

At least 550,000 babies are thought to have died as a result of armed conflict between 2013 and 2017 in the 10 worst-affected countries, according to new analysis by Save the Children — an average of well over 100,000 every year.

The infants succumbed to indirect effects of conflict and war such as hunger, damaged infrastructure and hospitals, a lack of access to health care and sanitation, and the denial of aid. They probably would not have died if they hadn’t been living in areas affected by conflict, Save the Children says.

The total deaths from indirect effects jump to 870,000 when all children under the age of five are included. While imperfect, the estimates may be conservative, according the charity. By comparison, Save the Children has estimated from available data that in the same five-year period almost 175,000 fighters were killed in the conflicts.

The numbers of indirect child deaths are published in a Save the Children report, Stop the War on Children, launched ahead of today’s opening of the Munich Security Conference. For the second year in a row, the report includes the most comprehensive collection of data on the number of children living in conflict-affected areas. It reveals that more children — almost 1 in 5 — are living in areas affected by armed conflict and war than at any time in more than 20 years.

New research by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), commissioned by Save the Children, found that 420 million children were living in conflict-affected areas in 2017 (18% of all children worldwide) — up 30 million from the previous year. Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia are the countries where children were hardest hit by conflict in 2017.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International, said:

“Our report shows that the way today’s wars are being fought is causing more suffering for children. Almost 1 in 5 children are living in areas impacted by conflict – more than at any time in the past two decades. The number of children being killed or maimed has more than tripled, and we are seeing an alarming increase in the use of aid as a weapon of war.

“It is shocking that in the 21st century we are going backwards on principles and moral standards that are so simple – children and civilians should never be targeted.

Our analysis clearly shows the situation is getting worse for children and the world is allowing this travesty to happen. Every day, children come under attack because armed groups and military forces disregard international laws and treaties. From the use of chemical weapons to rape as a weapon of war, war crimes are being committed with impunity.”

Part of the reason for the increased number of children living in conflict-affected areas is that today’s conflicts are more likely to be protracted, urban and fought among civilian populations. Increasingly, international rules and norms are flouted.

The Stop the War on Children report includes a breakdown of UN data on verified grave violations against children. According to these figures, grave violations rose worldwide from just under 10,000 in 2010 to more than 25,000 in 2017—the highest number on record. Every day children face the threat of being killed or maimed, recruited by armed groups, abducted, falling victim to sexual violence, seeing their school attacked or humanitarian aid denied. In many cases, children are specifically targeted.

Masika*, 15, from the DRC, is the youngest of seven children whose father died and left them unable to support themselves. She left school and joined an armed group to survive. “Everything I had thought I could do and could be one day now seemed impossible. I thought my only option was to get involved with armed groups. [The soldiers] wouldn't stop asking me to satisfy their sexual urges and I found myself having to give in.”

Save the Children’s report also highlights how efforts to keep schools safe, avoid the use of certain weapons, seek accountability for crimes against children or pursue new ways to support their recovery from the horrors of conflict can make a huge difference in their lives.

The charity included more than 20 recommendations for governments and other influential organisations to ensure children are protected during war and conflict. The commitments range from signing a Safe Schools Declaration and a minimum age of 18 for military recruitment to the avoidance of using explosive weapons in populated areas and tightening conditions for arms sales.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt continued: “When the rules of war are broken, the international community must be clear that this will not be tolerated and hold perpetrators to account. And for the children whose lives are wrecked by conflict, we must do all we can to protect them from further harm and help rebuild their future.”

Save the Children is also calling for an independent body to investigate and analyse all violations of international humanitarian law and of human rights, notably children’s rights.

South Sudan: Greater Koch County political leaders pledge to promote peace and reconciliation in their communities

Source: UN Mission in South Sudan
Country: South Sudan
JACOB RUAI

Opposition and government officials in Greater Koch County in Northern Liech held a one-day peace and reconciliation conference in Koch to discuss issues related to peace implementation...

Uganda: Impact of the DRC Ebola outbreak in neighbouring countries (DG ECHO, UN) (ECHO Daily Flash of 14 February 2019)

Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda

  • The DRC Ebola outbreak is ongoing in a border area with high cross-border population flow with Uganda and Rwanda making it of particular concern.

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a “very high risk” remains that the Ebola virus spreads further in the DRC but also into neighbouring countries, in particular Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

  • The setting up and strengthening of readiness and preparedness planning and actions is ongoing at regional level with the help of WHO. For this, USD 68.7 million are required with a current funding gap of USD 27.5 million.

South Sudan: Thousands of Displaced South Sudanese ‘Suffering’ Without Food, Water

Source: Voice of America
Country: South Sudan

Daniel Friday Martin

YEI - Officials in South Sudan's Yei River State say thousands of people who fled their homes during fighting over the past two weeks are without food or clean water.

The Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Yei River County says that up to 6,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living under trees on the outskirts of Yei town. Other local residents fled across the border into the northern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The residents fled fighting between government forces and National Salvation Front rebels led by Thomas Cirillo. Witnesses told VOA's South Sudan in Focus that soldiers killed civilians, raped women, and burned entire villages.

Jane Dawa said displaced villagers like herself have nothing to eat.

"Since we arrived here five days ago after fleeing our village, we have not been given any food, pans, and even blankets. We are suffering, and children are crying amidst us because they are hungry and there is no food," Dawa told VOA.

James Guya, a father of six who also fled with his children to the shelter outside Yei, said women and children are especially in need of help.

"We ran to this place because we witnessed bad things in our village. We are staying here without access to clean water. Children are drinking [and] washing with dirty water. We are calling on the government and NGOs to rescue us from this situation," Guya told South Sudan in Focus.

Lack of funds

Moses Mabe, relief and rehabilitation commission coordinator for Yei River County, said county and state governments lack the funds needed to help. "The government is unable to help and sustain these people," he said.

Several humanitarian organizations operating in the area said they also lack the funds necessary to provide humanitarian assistance to the displaced.

"We have little resources to respond to this overwhelming population on a daily basis," said Dara Felix, program manager for United Methodist Committee on Relief in Yei River State. "We are appealing to the partners at Juba level to avail resources so that partners on the ground can intervene effectively to this kind of crisis."

Humanitarian access

Eujin Byun, the UNHCR communications officer in Juba, is urging the warring parties to end the fighting and to guarantee the safety of humanitarian workers trying to intervene.

"We have an access challenge to those IDPs and we have been blocked by the parties to the conflict, and that is why we are calling on all parties to the conflict to ensure free civilian movement and access for humanitarian actors," Byun told South Sudan in Focus.

Chapter two of South Sudan's revitalized peace agreement signed in September urges the parties to respect the free movement of all civilians and give free access to humanitarian workers.

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