Light Base Camps Aid Humanitarian Response on South Sudan Frontlines

Posted: 
02/09/16
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons

South Sudan - To increase the humanitarian presence in deep-field locations in South Sudan, IOM is constructing light base camps in partnership with the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP), a voluntary network of seven European emergency management agencies.

Despite the signing of a peace agreement in August 2015, insecurity and humanitarian needs continue to drive displacement in South Sudan, where an estimated 1.69 million people are internally displaced. The majority of these are living in remote areas beyond displacement camps.

The light base camps allow relief workers to remain in areas of need for longer periods of time and support consistent humanitarian access. The tented camps provide accommodation and office space, as well as solar-powered electricity and sanitation facilities. IHP engineers and IOM technicians deploy and set up each camp, which is individually managed by a host organization. 

 “Accessing households in hard-to-reach areas is critical. As the crisis persists, families across the country are exhausting their coping mechanisms, experiencing multiple displacements and facing severe food insecurity. The light base camps are helping the humanitarian community to expand its reach to these communities,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission David Derthick.

Last month, IHP and IOM completed a light base camp in Melut, Upper Nile, to host nearly 40 humanitarian staff working in the nearby UN protection of civilians (PoC) site and other remote areas of Melut.

IHP and IOM teams are preparing to construct camps in other areas, including Unity’s Leer and Koch counties and in Upper Nile’s Wau Shilluk, where IOM recently registered more than 20,400 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members. 

Due to restricted access to Wau Shilluk during much of 2015, thousands of families fled to the nearby PoC site in Malakal in search of food and other relief assistance in July and August.

Since access to Wau Shilluk opened in October, many IDPs have returned. As such, the light base camp will enable sustained and effective relief operations that reach the communities where they live.

To further extend humanitarian aid in areas far from UN PoC sites, IOM also deploys frontline response teams.

IOM technical staff travels to displaced and host communities to provide lifesaving health assistance and shelter and households supplies, as well as improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions.

Recent rapid respond operations provided WASH assistance in Lakes and Jonglei and helped communities in Wau Shilluk to rebuild shelters.

IOM is also continuing its humanitarian operations for IDPs seeking protection in UN PoC sites. While the population is stable in most sites, the Bentiu PoC in Unity continues to receive new arrivals, with over 1,700 IDPs arriving last week alone.

For further information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716; Email: amclaughlin@iom.int  Website: http://southsudan.iom.int

Light base camp in Melut, Upper Nile in South Sudan. © IHP 2015