Market Assessment in Tambura County, March 2019 - LCED
“As we prepare to enter 2019, South Sudan remains in the grip of a serious humanitarian crisis. The cumulative effects of years of conflict and violence against civilians have destroyed people’s homes and livelihoods. It is with this in mind that today I am calling for $1.5 billion to give assistance and protection to 5.7 million people who have been affected by the conflict in South Sudan and are the most in need” Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan (Dec, 2018).
In South Sudan, more than 7 million people - about two thirds of the population - are in dire need of some form of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2019 – the same proportion as in 2018. While the situation is no longer escalating at a rapid speed, the country remains in the grip of a serious humanitarian crisis (UN OCHA, Dec 2018).
Since the end of May 2018, conflict between government and opposition forces has led to over 12,000 IDPs fleeing to Tambura from the Nagero area alone. According to the Tambura Displacement Brief (November 2017), the population of Tambura County has reportedly rapidly increased since the beginning of 2018 with reported influx of returnees from CAR as well as IDPs from neighboring counties like Nagero, Namutina Yambio, and Ezo. The RRC recorded 6,212 returnees (1,517 households (HHs)) in Source Yubu and 16,699 IDPs/returnees (8,360 HHs) in Tambura in October 2018, though no humanitarian organizations have been able to verify these numbers (Reach, 2018).
As a result of these continuing conflicts forcing people to flee their homes and destruction of gardens, many families in Tambura County are hosting a big number of returnee or IDP relatives and/or friends. One of the IDPs was quoted,
‘Dozens of civilians have been killed and some others are still missing in the bush. The armed group destroyed our farms and burnt down our houses. My grandfather and aunt are still missing in the bush and we don’t know if they are still alive or killed. All our property has been burned down. Now our kids are here and there is no school for them. If government or some NGOs here could allow them to join schools here in Tambura that will be good.” (Oct, 2018).
Worse still, the recent months have seen Tambura County hit by food shortages (LCED Monitoring Report, Jan 2018). The findings of the monitoring visit clearly pointed out hunger as the major reason that forced the IDPs who were settled in Mabia settlement to abandon the camp and trudge back to 5
their former counties despite the possible insecurity. Radio Tamujaz in July 2018 reported that about 27,000 displaced people in Tambura State (new state system) were calling for humanitarian assistance. The Tambura Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) Morris Bangire confirmed and echoed that 31,000 IDPs from Nagero County were registered in Tambura County after insecurity in their areas of origin in May 2018, and were in need of shelter, food, and medicines among others (June,2018).
The breakdown in community infrastructures and services (schools and health facilities) during conflict in the conflict affected areas is undoubtedly the reason why majority of IDPs, returnees and a few refugees have settled within Tambura County and reluctant to go back. Whereas recent reports indicate that majority of IDPs from Nagero have gone back home, it should not be misleading to suggest there are no conflict affected persons in need of emergency support within and around Tambura County. In fact, this rapid assessment identified another category of vulnerable population-the refugees from Central African Republic of Congo (CAR) inhabited within Tambura.
Recently, efforts to support IDPs from Mabia have seen partners like South Sudan Red Cross, World Vision South Sudan (WVSS), World Food Program (WFP) and Lacha Community and Economic Development (LCED) respond with humanitarian emergency assistance to these conflict affected persons but only in a settlement camp setting leaving out those with the host community.
It is therefore against this background that LCED conducted a rapid market assessment to provide evidence-based information on existence of ‘invisible’ marginalized and vulnerable categories of people in Tambura County for humanitarian partners to take action through an appropriate support modality (in-kind or cash transfer approach).
Objectives of the rapid market assessment
- To understand the different categories of neglected vulnerable populations in need of emergency assistance in Tambura County
- To examine the different priority needs of the affected population
- To understand how the market can play a key role in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected population
- To identify and recommend the different options humanitarian partners could adopt to provide emergency assistance in a cost effective, efficient and timely manner