Give a brief introduction of context from alert date, assessment/verification, to distribution?
During the 2015 South Sudan conflict that escalated to the Western Equatoria State in 2016, many lives were lost, masses displaced, property burnt and some looted resulting into many people in dire need of emergency assistance. In Greater Mundri, the security situation was later made worse when intertribal conflicts between farmers and pastoralists have been raging on since then leading to further destruction of property. With houses and clothes burnt, women, men, boys and girls were seen walking naked, a situation that exposed them especially women and girls to risk of gender -sexual based violence. An urgent call for humanitarian assistance by local authorities saw UNHCR respond by providing 130 bales of second hand clothes through Lacha Community and Economic Development (LCED) that has a strong presence in Greater Mundri; in order to protect and safeguard affected people’s privacy to live a dignified life.
Consultative meetings were held with the local authorities to determine the most affected areas as well as agree on the selection criteria. Between March and early April 2019, LCED team together with community volunteers verified 9,777 individuals (5007 males and 4,770 females) from 1,841 households selected from 17 bomas of the 8 payams of Mundri East/West and Mvolo Counties. Community meetings were later held at boma level to identify suitable distribution sites as well as agree on the distribution mode. A Relief Distribution Committee (RDC) comprising of both males and females was formed in each distribution site (10 in number per distribution site) to support LCED staff during distribution as well as act as crowd controllers on the distribution day.
How was equal access ensured for men, women, girls and boys?
Equal opportunities to access emergency clothing were given to all beneficiaries regardless of their gender, religion and tribe during registration and distribution processes. For example, the project staff informed the local leaders as well as the community that access to support was free as long as one met the stated selection criteria. On the distribution day, the project staff using the registration lists, would call names of beneficiaries one by one to and with the support of the RDCs confirm their identification (whether he/she was the right person registered to receive assistance) and in some areas, beneficiaries were organized in separate queues consisting of males and females to avoid any possible sexual harassment. Priority was given to people with special needs who included persons with disability, pregnant women, and the elderly and lactating mothers where they were supported to receive items as well as leave the distribution sites by LCED staff or community volunteers.
How was order maintained during the distribution?
At the distribution sites, and before commencement of the distribution exercise, the project staff with the support of the Relief Distribution Committees briefed the beneficiaries on the distribution process, demonstrating the distribution procedures to be followed, and shared with them the different complaint and feedback platforms available for any related feedback. In some bomas, queuing up in lines on a ‘first-come basis’ was preferred since the beneficiaries turned up at different intervals and the need to serve them in a timely manner while in others the order of the registration lists was followed. Moreover, the project team engaged the targeted population to suggest and agree upon the mechanism to help some identified most vulnerable individuals like persons with disability, elderly, pregnant, chronically sick individuals access support during distribution (prioritization).
What were the challenges?
a. Overwhelming number of people in need versus the available assistance
b. Challenges in mobilizing the community due to social functions and lack of communication network
c. Poor road network