Civilians in Juba are facing an uncertain calm since a ceasefire was declared on Monday night, ending days of intense fighting that killed at least 300 people and forced thousands to flee their homes in search of safety.
The number of displaced persons has decreased from initial figures as many families have begun returning to their homes, but an estimated 12,800 people remain displaced as fears of renewed violence persist.
Following the ceasefire, IOM immediately began providing assistance to displaced families, many of whom need shelter, water and medical attention.
“Humanitarian access to affected people has improved dramatically since Monday. But this can only be sustained if the ceasefire holds. IOM is working closely with our partners to assess needs and ensure that aid reaches the most vulnerable,” said John McCue, IOM South Sudan Head of Operations.
IOM is providing emergency assistance at the UN peacekeeping base in Juba’s Tong Ping neighbourhood, where an estimated 2,300 people are seeking protection. On 13 and 14 July, IOM and Medair distributed blankets, sleeping mats and mosquito nets to 1,200 families at the site.
In partnership with Nile Hope, IOM distributed soap, buckets and water containers. It also helped the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to construct additional latrines. IOM has trucked 36,000 litres of safe drinking water to the site.
An IOM medical team set up a temporary clinic at the UNMISS Tong Ping base on 13 July to conduct health consultations and provide mothers with maternal care. IOM teams also delivered 350 kilograms of medicines and health supplies to the ADRA compound, where several thousand people were sheltering in the immediate days of the conflict.
IOM operations continue unaffected in other areas of the country, where an estimated 6.1 million people are in need of aid. Relief agencies remain alarmed by the increasing humanitarian needs in South Sudan, despite the signing of a peace agreement in August 2015, following the eruption of violence in December 2013.