South Sudan


Brief description of IOM and the ERS context in South Sudan

IOM’s involvement in South Sudan is distinct from the CCCM activities covered in the previous section. IOM South Sudan co-leads the Emergency Returns Sector (ERS) with UNHCR.

The ERS was established for the purposes of coordinating assistance to returnees; gathering and analysing information on return patterns, volumes and needs; and devising inter-vention strategies to target stranded returnees and individu-als considered most vulnerable en route to their intended final destinations within South Sudan.

Since the inception of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, more than 1.7 million southern Sudanese are estimated to have returned to areas of what was formerly the southern part of Sudan and is now South Sudan, follow-ing independence in July 2011. In the lead up to and after-math of independence from November 2010 to date, over 600,000 individuals have returned, including 116,000 in 2012 (as of end June).

IOM focuses its interventions on tracking and monitoring returnees, both en route to and at their final destinations, in close partnership with the country’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC). The T&M system covers the country’s 10 states through hundreds of IOM and RRC personnel.

Though humanitarian assistance to returnees is integrated into cluster-specific response plans, IOM and UNHCR have taken on responsibility to initiate the response through the operation of a network of way stations (capacity to accom-modate 1,000-1,500 individuals for up to 72 hours) and transit sites (capacity for 20-30,000 returnees for several weeks or months) along the country’s main return routes.

IOM provides emergency health and WASH support, and handles onward transportation assistance for the most vul-nerable and stranded.

Training activities

  • Training of Trainers (ToT) programmes and training sup-port to IOM and RRC personnel on T&M methodology.
  • NRC secondment to IOM South Sudan to train IOM and government personnel in camp management on the oc-casion of the establishment of the Juba transit site.
  • Participation of tracking and monitoring team in roll-out of Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA), to be piloted in South Sudan.


Latest achievements

  • Tracking and monitoring of more than 600,000 returnees over the past 18 months.
  • Establishment of transit sites, in addition to existing net-work of way stations, to benefit larger groups of strand-ed returnees, particularly in Juba and Malakal.
  • Rapid establishment of accommodation facilities in Juba and provision of emergency humanitarian assistance to 12,000 South Sudanese returned by IOM from Kosti, Su-dan, with IOM leading site management response and direct service delivery in partnership with NRC and UN-HCR.
  • Provision of onward transport assistance to 50,000 stranded and vulnerable returnees over the past 12 months.
  • Provision of direct humanitarian assistance to 200,000 returnees over the past 12 months.

Areas in need of global cluster support

  • Ongoing support to T&M and site management teams.
  • Monitoring of need to eventually activate CCCM cluster, should circumstances justify it.

Plans for 2012 to 2013

  • Maintain advocacy efforts toward Government of South Sudan counterparts to establish transit sites to accom-modate transiting or stranded returnees, thereby pre-venting protracted displacement situations which could develop into periodic humanitarian emergencies.
  • Improve information management and technology for tracking displacement in order to accelerate information collection, analysis and dissemination.
  • Continue close monitoring of the evolution of return routes, which essentially depends on the political con-text between Sudan and South Sudan.
  • Expand capacity to monitor Abyei-related displacement as conditions gradually improve for potential returns.
  • Expand efforts to support returnees beyond humanitari-an assistance into the early stages of reintegration into areas of chosen final destination.