CWS emergency appeal: South Sudan emergency preparedness

Under the terms of a 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a referendum on the future of South Sudan and its self-determination is scheduled to be held Jan. 9, 2011. However, there are signs that controversies surrounding the referendum could spark new conflict in Sudan. In anticipation of possible turbulence in 2011, CWS is supporting efforts of ACT Alliance members in Sudan who are preparing for potential emergencies.

CWS is supporting efforts of ACT Alliance members in Sudan who are preparing for potential emergencies ahead of a January 2011 referendum.
Photo: Chris Herlinger/CWS

APPEAL # 642-I
AMOUNT: $150,000

Situation:

Under the terms of a 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a referendum on the future of South Sudan and its self-determination is scheduled to be held Jan. 9, 2011. However, there are signs that controversies surrounding the referendum could spark new conflict in Sudan. In anticipation of possible turbulence in 2011, CWS is supporting efforts of ACT Alliance members in Sudan who are preparing for potential emergencies.

Background:

A 22-year-war between north and south Sudan killed more than 2 million, displaced 4 million others and destroyed whatever little infrastructure existed. As the AFP news service described it:  "Semi-autonomous south Sudan is struggling to recover from Africa's longest civil conflict, which left an estimated two million people dead and was fuelled by ethnicity, ideology, religion and resources such as oil."

It is predicted that many of the 500,000 or so southerners living in northern Sudan will travel to the south before the referendum, which will put a huge strain on existing resources. Any dispute over the voting process could lead to a return to all-out civil war -- the worst-case scenario. This would have a devastating impact on Sudanese, as it would come on top of ongoing humanitarian crises elsewhere in Sudan, including disease outbreaks, flooding and food shortages.

Among the possible scenarios: War would likely result in massive displacement; cause disruption of education, health and other basic services; increase the threat of food shortages and resulting hunger; and could provoke influxes of refugees into neighboring countries like Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.

The goal of CWS-supported efforts is to strengthen ACT Alliance members and their partners’ ability to prepare for, respond to and manage emergency situations in 12 states across southern and central Sudan, including the border areas of South Kordofan, Abyei and the Blue Nile state. This would be done in accordance with international standards and codes of best practice, a long-time CWS commitment.

CWS response:

The CWS-supported efforts include four components. They are:

  • Preparedness training for 180 staff of ACT Alliance members, implementing partners and local government representatives;
  • Agency resource building for communication and logistics in emergency response;
  • Pre-positioning non-food items, such as essential shelter and water purification supplies, in all 12 states, assisting up to 5,000 households should they need assistance. (The number of beneficiaries and the age/sex distribution will be determined at the time of carrying out assessments following any emergency. However, priority will always be given to households headed by women, and to groups that include young children, elderly and other vulnerable groups such as the disabled and those living with HIV/AIDS.)
  • Coordination of ACT efforts and security.

Other specifics:

  • With CWS support, the ACT Alliance plans to procure 5,000 emergency kits in total, to be allocated to each state according to need and partner’s storage capacity. The final procurement plan will be adjusted as much as possible according to the actual needs and gaps in each state / area.
  • Each kit will include the following items: Water purification tablets (2 months supply for drinking water); tarpaulin; mosquito nets; blankets; plastic mat; cooking pots (small and large); plates and cups; jerry can; kitchen supplies; soap; basin for washing; machete.
  • The lead agency for these efforts will be CWS partner and fellow ACT member DanChurchAid.

How to help

Contributions to support the emergency response work of Church World Service may be made online or by phone (800.297.1516), or may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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