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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Government conducts needs assessment of its capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance using a participatory approach

By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

August 24, 2011 (BENTIU) – In the three field workshops conducted by the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) and UNICEF in Wau, Malakal and Torit. The workshops fed inputs into the recent concluded national workshop organized on Thursday 24 August in Juba. The aim of the workshops was to allow the Government to assess the needs leading to improved institutional capacity on humanitarian situation management. Seniors SSRRC travelled across the ten states, interacted with field functionaries and discussed the challenges and opportunities and agreed on recommendations, of the next steps.

After the six years interim period under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), South Sudan gained its independence on 9 July 2011. Despite some notable progress, the border context in South Sudan remains challenging as internal tensions and natural disasters often lead to significant displacements as has been seen in the recent past. Children and women are most vulnerable in a complex emergency environment. In the absence of proper coordination mechanisms and early warning systems, children and women continue to be severely affected in times of emergency.

As part of national capacity development initiatives for 2011,
Emergency Preparedness and Response is one of the areas where UNICEF
and the Government are working together to strengthen disaster
management capacity in South Sudan. An innovative approach has been
adopted by the Government and UNICEF for identification of gaps and
assessing needs by organising participatory workshops with staff from
various institutions, conducting literature review and arranging
consultation meetings with various humanitarian stakeholders and key
government informants. The SSRRC representatives and UNICEF avoided
the top-down approach, and provided an opportunity to the SSRRC staff
from State and County levels to voice their views and perceptions of
what their current real needs were.

Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, Director of UNICEF South Sudan said, “UNICEF
endeavours to support the most marginalised and vulnerable populations
especially women & children in emergency situations. It’s imperative
that the planning for preparedness and response for humanitarian needs
reflects the actual needs from the ground. The recently concluded
workshops allowed the government to assess its own capacity to provide
emergency relief support to affected population in time of need”.

The main purpose of the national workshop was to review and decide on
the needs identified by SSRRC in all States and prioritize them to
enable development of a work plan for the next one year. Discussions
around the possible institutional set up of the emergency relief
government agency were also conducted during the workshop. A special
session was held on the setting up of a multi-agency supervisory
working group, comprising of Government and Humanitarian Country Team
members to oversee the implementation of the commitments pledged by
all parties involved.

Mrs Yar Paul K. Awar, Deputy Chair of the (SSRRC) “appreciates the
support UNICEF continues to provide towards strengthening the capacity
for disaster management and risk mitigation in South Sudan.
Particularly valuable was the consultative process with the SSRRC
field staff in all 10 States of South Sudan” said Yar.

(ST)

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