IOM Distributes Life-Saving Aid to Families Returning to Lainya, South Sudan

Distribution of relief items in Lainya, South Sudan in July 2017. Photo:IOM 2017Juba – IOM is currently distributing essential relief supplies to approximately 3,800 families in South Sudan’s Lainya County. The distribution will continue through mid-October 2017.  

Thousands had fled from Lainya and neighbouring areas in 2016 as fighting spread south from the country’s Juba toward the Equatoria region, which includes Lainya. While many people crossed the border to refugee camps in neighbouring Uganda, thousands fled to remote areas within South Sudan.

This distribution in Lainya comes after one in the County in July 2017 and follows an IOM and partners-led mission in August, which verified reports of increased returns to the area. As their confidence in the security situation in Lainya improved, displaced people gradually started to return to the County.

August’s rapid assessment identified immense needs among those returning. The South Sudanese refugees walked for five days with very few belongings from Uganda to reach Lainya. The internally displaced people took very little with them as they ran in search of safety, so brought little back with them, too. Displaced families said that their homes had been looted during the clashes.

Many of the displaced people reported that they missed the first distribution in July due to security concerns.

IOM is distributing essential household items, including blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, cooking sets, bags, plastic sheeting, household water treatment supplies, buckets, collapsible jerry cans and soap. IOM is working alongside Lacha Community and Economic Development (LCED), a South Sudanese non-governmental organization, to complete the distribution.

The distribution area is vast as the communities are spread out and many continue to seek shelter in remote areas. Poor road conditions, due to lack of infrastructure and the rainy season, have led to delays in the response as trucks delivering supplies have faced obstacles in reaching the County.

As needs soar across the country, IOM rapid response needs continue to respond in remote areas. In Mayom County, Jonglei, IOM is improving access to safe drinking water and conducting hygiene promotion activities in response to reported Cholera cases in June and July. In Rubkona County and areas of Bentiu town, Unity, IOM is digging 20 wells to improve the supply of clean water for vulnerable displaced and host communities.

After nearly four years of conflict, an estimated 4 million South Sudanese remain displaced from their homes, including 1.88 million internally displaced people and 2.1 million who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. IOM response teams continue to provide multi-sector humanitarian assistance to vulnerable individuals across the country.

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int.

   

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