- A total of 61 children (28 boys; 33 girls) have been reunified with their primary care giver in April, contributing to reaching the milestone of 6,000 unaccompanied and separated children reunified with their primary caregivers by UNICEF and partners since the beginning of the conflict in 2013.
Back to Learning initiative campaigns were launched at locations throughout the country, including Pibor, Yambio, Wau and Malakal. High-level mobilization efforts such as these helped to increase primary school enrolment by 163,045 learners, including 32,368 girls, over the past month.
Measles outbreaks continues to be reported throughout the country. As of end of April, a total of 986 cases, including six deaths have been reported, resulting in a case fatality rate of 0.6 per cent in 11 counties and three Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs).
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
1.83 million Internally displaced persons (IDPs) (OCHA South Sudan Humanitarian Snapshot,
2.30 million South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR Regional Portal, South Sudan Situation 30 April 2019)
6.45 million South Sudanese facing severe food insecurity (February-April 2019 Projection, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification)
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Similar to previous months, there remained a largely conducive environment for humanitarian access in April. UNICEF and partners were able to maintain consistent and secure access in lower Unity, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Western Equatoria states, all previous hotspots with limited access in 2018. UNICEF and partners have taken advantage of the improved operating environment, including participating in the first road mission to Leer and leading an assessment in northern Yambio county, both of which had not been possible since 2016, and expanding outreach services to an estimated 20,000 displaced people in Greater Baggari. Fewer fees and taxes are also being collected at checkpoints along main supply routes, helping to reduce operating costs and facilitating the dry season prepositioning of supplies in field locations.
At the same time, UNICEF and partners continue to face a range of challenges to maintaining principled and secure access to women and children in South Sudan. While fighting in southern Central Equatoria state has decreased in April over previous months, unpredictable clashes, insecurity along the roads and the multiplicity of armed actors continue to limit access outside of Yei town, impeding UNICEF’s ability to assist an estimated 15,000 IDPs in Otogo and Lujulo payams and undertake EVD preparedness activities. Fighting and insecurity have also limited access around Mundri and Maridi, in Western Equatoria. Both government and opposition authorities also continue to impose bureaucratic restrictions and interfere in humanitarian action, including by requesting additional taxes and fees, interfering in recruitment processes, harassing staff and confiscating humanitarian assets. Criminality, particularly along the roads, also remains a concern, with several incidents of road side robberies of UNICEF cargo transporters and implementing partners recorded in April alone.
According to the January 2019 integrated food security phase classification (IPC) projections for February to April 2019, the total number of people in crisis (IPC phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse is projected to 6.5 million people or 57 per cent of the population. Out of this total, 45,000 are projected to be in IPC phase 5. In 2019, about 860,000 children under five are estimated to be acutely malnourished including 259,000 of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). To reach 2019 targets and be ready to respond for first semester 2020, UNICEF Nutrition Programme need to mobilize US$ 42 million before September 2019 for procurement of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic food (RUTF) and frontline cost of the programme. There is a risk of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) pipeline break in the last quarter of 2019 if UNICEF fails to mobilize adequate resources before September 2019. UNICEF appeals for donor support to avoid pipeline break for this life saving nutrition intervention.