Your ALWS Emergency Action
UPDATE 8: Friday 11 September
Your help through ALWS is delivered by the LWF South Sudan team you support at Renk, near the border with Sudan. Program Coordinator, Mika Jokivuori, reports from the front line …
Returnees and refugees fleeing conflict from Sudan continue to arrive in big numbers.
The last few weeks, the average influx has increased to 1,800 individuals who cross every day. More than 95% of those new arrivals are South Sudan returnees. The rest are refugees including the Sudanese and other nationalities.
The situation of the new arrivals is dire.
Most when they arrive are highly depressed, malnourished and exhausted. There are measles cases among children. Cases of those with gun shoot wounds, and survivors of rape and physical assaults, are common.
Returnees and refugees continue to live in the former Upper Nile University compound as the main Transit Centre. Head counts conducted this morning revealed a total of 6,296 individuals of 876 households currently living here. There is urgent need to extend the transit to a new site to decongest the current space.
The settlement of the returnees in the informal sites such as Zero and Abukadhra is likely to create tension within the host community.
Your ALWS action through LWF last week
- Identified, registered and airlifted to Juba a total of 416 people with special needs from 74 households.
- Distributed multipurpose cash vouchers to 354 people from 7- households.
- Provided psychosocial support to 849 children at the Transit Centre. Children enjoyed activities like football, skipping rope, colouring books, ludo, dancing and singing.
- Conducted 8 public awareness campaigns, reaching 3,400 people.
- Carried out shelter-to-shelter child protection awareness raising that reached 307 girls, 228 women, 237 boys and 111 men. Focus on dangers of harmful practices like physical abuse and child negligence. Promoted available services.
- Referred 34 people with specific needs to receive support for medical issues, shelter needs, registration-related issues and Gender-Based Violence.
- Provided Dignity Kits to 23 girls and women of reproductive ages. Raised awareness with 93 adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene management.
- Supported 103 vulnerable families with washing soap.
- Lack of resources to construct a bigger child friendly space to support psychosocial activities to help children recover from trauma.
- No activities in the host community yet. This is vital to enhance acceptance and peaceful coexistence. Livelihood activities aimed at youth would be highly impactful.
- Onward transportation of new arrivals remains a challenge. (NB: 1,800 arrivals per day at Transit Centre, but only 1,200 per day can be moved.)
UPDATE 7: Friday 4 August
Report from Mika Jokivuori, LWF South Sudan
Greetings from Renk, South Sudan.
More than 200,000 people have come to South Sudan and it is expected to continue as no sign of holding peace in Sudan. LWF is committed to continue to provide much needed service, both community-based services and onward transportation for most vulnerable households.
We have been requested both by the government and UN to provide flight service to limited number of most vulnerable households, as living condition in Renk is not suitable for them – especially during rainy season that is starting soon.
I like to thank all of you for your support, but request you continue as needs are still here.
Your ALWS Emergency Response
ALWS has committed $100,000 to the emergency efforts of our ALWS partner, LWF (Lutheran World Federation), on the border at Renk in South Sudan.
- average influx of new arrivals increased to 1800 individuals who cross every day
- more than 95% of those new arrivals are South Sudan returnees
- the rest are refugees including the Sudanese and other nationalities
- situation of new arrivals is dire – most are highly depressed, malnourished and exhausted
- many Measles cases reported among children
- gun shoot wounds, survivors of rape and physical assaults common among new arrivals.
- Humanitarian partners are giving services to these persons of concern including the onward movement organized by IOM*, UNHCR and other partners.
- IOM takes lead in returnees transportation to various destinations while UNHCR leads in refugee transportation to Maban.
- Returnees and refugees continue to live in the former Upper Nile University compound as the main Transit Centre
- Head counts conducted this morning revealed a total of 6,296 individuals in 876 Households currently living at the TC – needs to be decongested
- other returnees settled on their own in a place called Zero in the south of Renk
- others live in a place called Abukadhara, in the north of Renk
- many more are scattered within the host community
- WARNING: settlement of the returnees in the informal sites such as Zero and Abukadhra is likely to create tension within the host community.
* IOM = International Organisation for Migration
Your ALWS-supported action
- Identified, registered and airlifted a total of 416 individuals with specific needs, from 74 Households, to Juba (capital of South Sudan)
- Distributed multipurpose cash to 354 individuals from 70 Households
- Provided with voucher/token while in Renk and received cash upon arrival in Juba
- Facilitated psychosocial activities (indoor and outdoor games) for a total number of 849 children (450 girls, 399 Boys) at the Transit Centre
- Games included playing football, skipping rope, book shading and ludo games, dancing and singing
- Shelter-to-shelter child protection awareness-raising this week reached 883 people, including 307 girls, 228 women, 237 boys and 111 men
- Key messages delivered on dangers of harmful practices like physical abuse, child neglect and available services for children and care-givers
- 15 female-headed household attended focus group psychosocial support sessions: identify psychological problem in children during emergency, how to support children with psychological problem, where to get support and importance of positive disciplining to the caregivers’ mental wellbeing
- 8 public awareness-raising campaigns reached 3,400 people
- 1330 people received awareness-raising on Sexual Abuse, Gender-based Violence, GBV, child protection, referral pathways and service points within the transit centre.
- Referred 34 people with specific needs (29 female) to other partners for appropriate supports: medical issues, Gender-based violence, shelter, registration
- 23 girls and women supported with Dignity Kits
- 103 people from vulnerable families received washing soap
- 93 adolescent girls received training on menstrual hygiene management
- Construct a bigger child-friendly space to support psychosocial activities with children
Currently LWF uses an open space to run these activities because the small tent which operates as an office space is too small and unconducive for PSS activities.
- No activities in the host community currently
To enhance acceptancy and peaceful coexistence, it would be strategic to start doing something in host community among whom there are many returnees.
- Any livelihood project that would target youth in Renk County would be very impactful: ideally focus on livelihood, social cohesion and food security
Youths in this county are highly reactive and sometimes violent. This is due to redundancy and lack of jobs opportunities for them.
- Onward transportation remains serious challenge: 1,800 people arrive daily, only 1,200 can be transported further on.
More focus on transportation for most vulnerable families.
Photo: LWF South Sudan
UPDATE 6: Thursday 13 July
* * * THANK YOU! * * *
Your kindness and generosity has enabled ALWS
to DOUBLE our commitment to supply aid
for people fleeing the crisis in Sudan!
Your ALWS Action
South Sudan: $100,000
WHO YOU HELP
Your ALWS action is part of a response of churches worldwide through ACT Alliance.
PEOPLE YOU HELP SUPPORT
5 – 17 years
18 – 59 years
WHERE YOU HELP
Your ALWS action is delivered by our partner LWF (Lutheran World Federation), who have experienced front-line teams, and locally-recruited translators.
- Already hosts one million refugees
- Entry at Metema Border Post in Amhara Region
- Your ALWS action: Benishangul Gumiz
- LWF present since 2012
Your ALWS action
Gender-Based Violence Protection / Child Protection
WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene)
- 56,100 people arrived in first month of crisis through Joda Border Post at Renk
- Your ALWS action: Renk, in Upper Nile
- LWF present since 2013
- Partner with UNHCR
Your ALWS action
Mental Health Psychosocial
Gender-Based Violence Protection / Child Protection
PLANNED PROJECT OUTCOMES
- People affected by the conflict, both refugees and internally displaced, receive immediate lifesaving, multi-sectoral emergency support through cash transfers, food distribution, emergency health services and supply of medical supplies and medicines.
- People affected by the conflict, both refugees and internally displaced, including people with disabilities are safe and protected from Gender Based Violence and Child Protection measures.
- Children affected by the conflict, both refugees and internally displaced, were able to access education.
- People affected by the conflict, both refugees and internally displaced, accessed to clean and safe sanitation and water facilities.
- People affected by the conflict, both refugees and internally displaced, were able to avail of psychosocial support.
- People affected by the conflict, both refugees and internally displaced, have a regular income/livelihood.
UPDATE 5: Friday 9 June
Report from ALWS partner, LWF South Sudan (Lutheran World Federation).
- LWF jointly conducted awareness on child protection with partners at reception site in Joda border point at this week in which an approximate number of 1000, mostly women were reached. The new arrivals were sensitized on the available protection services at the transit center (TC) in Renk. The parents among the new arrivals were also sensitized to take care of their children when boarding to travel and while staying at the transit center in Renk. An awareness raising was done at the porridge serving area in the TC to sensitize children not to queue up to serve the meal on behalf of the family as that role belongs to the parents, not children. Approximately 800 individuals were reached in that awareness.
- A short session was held with adolescent on the menstrual hygiene management. The session was attended by a total of 17 girls.
New cases identified and supported
- A total of 56 adolescent girls were recorded and supported through LWF during the reporting period. The girls received dignity kits (soap and sanitary pads) after they came forward with cases of emergencies that needed those items immediately. The assistance was done on a case by case to the most vulnerable individuals during the reporting period. This has helped in addressing emergency needs to the girls on periods
- Identified and supported a total of 104 households (89F, 15M) with sleeping mats. The items were delivered directly to the households on case-by-case bases. This was done after the beneficiaries were recorded and verified by the team through a process which involved the home visits for all cases recorded, identifying families whose children were sleeping on hard ground without any material to sleep on.
- 3 children (2F, 1M) were identified as missing children and a quick tracing was made and children were successfully reunified with their parents. This activity was done jointly with Save the Children colleagues.
Six people (5F, 1M) were referred to the partner for further support. These include one separated child, five mothers including the pregnant and a lactating mother with a small baby. Four cases were referred to DRC while two other cases which are health related were referred to IMC for further medication.
Gender based violence
It was observed there is a huge risk of gender-based violence at the TC. There is currently no lighting to facilitate safe passage for young girls and women to access basic services such as water and latrines at night. Some latrines are placed in places which may not be safely accessible to vulnerable group when it is dark. For example, the population living in the eastern side of the tarmac road does not have latrines in their site. They have to cross the road to enter the fence in order to access latrines, or go to the bush for open defecation. This is risky and needs to be addressed.
Through short sessions with adolescent girls at the TC and to the new arrivals at the reception, LWF was able to provide some group counselling on how to cope in the emergency situation. This included providing them with information on the available services at the TC, being advised to move in a group when they go out from the TC, and to avoid movement outside homes when it is dark to protect themselves from different types of abuse.
Settlement Coordination and Camp Management
As part of the continuous operation, LWF participated in various coordination forms which include, interagency coordination meetings, daily interagency briefing, protection working group, cashing working group and NFI coordination meeting. This has enabled LWF to be aware of the identified operational challenges such as the onward movement is to Malakal which is on hold as more discussions are needed to address the overcrowding in Malakal, and possible solution such as the exploration of other include the air transportation by IOM and RRC. Many discussions are ongoing regarding the bigger preparations ahead of the rainy season.
ECHO (European Commission and Humanitarian aid Organisation) report that from 21 April to 22 May more than 27,000 people from Sudan entered Ethiopia. Key crossing point is Metema in Amhara region. 65 different nationalities. Key needs identified as water, Hygiene Kits, food, clothes, shoes, mats, Dignity Kits. Also shelter, and transport to other centres.
UPDATE 4: Friday 26 May
Photo: LWF South Sudan
There is a high risk that more than 60,000 returnees and refugees will arrive in South Sudan over the next 6 months.
Through ALWS, you have a special focus on those who are most vulnerable.
When people are forced from their homes to flee to safety, families prioritise their children. That’s why up to 60% of refugees are children.
The LWF team you support in South Sudan is conducting community engagement activities and providing psychosocial support to vulnerable children as they cross the border from Sudan.
You can see the needs of children in this small sample from 30 April:
- 15 children welcomed and assessed
- 6 of these children required medical attention
- 7 children, regarded as missing, were referred to UNHCR for family tracing
- 1 child, separated from parents, was supported with Non-Food Items
The LWF team report there are several challenges in ensuring children are adequately protected and cared for in this crisis:
- Very limited number of Protection Case Workers, both at the border Reception Centre and the Transit Centre in Renk.
- Limited awareness amongst the population of child protection and other protection issues, including for people with disability.
- Limited access to sanitary and reproductive health information, especially among the adolescents within the settlement and the immediate host communities.
- Limited access to essentials such as sanitary pads, underwear, and soap.
- Need for awareness on the risks of child trafficking and other protection risk associated with migration of populations.
- Lack of protection pathways and structures within the refugee and host communities.
Photo: LWF South Sudan
Once emergency needs are met, like the welcome meal you see being distributed in the photo, it is vital to care for children’s emotional and psychological needs in this crisis setting.
Therefore, using our ALWS commitment of $50,000 to South Sudan for emergency response, your LWF team plans to:
- Provide Psychosocial support, including play activities with children, training, group counselling activities.
- Procure and distribute hygiene kits (washing soap, sanitary pads, bath soap, jelly)
- Procure and distribute play and learning materials for children in Child-Friendly Spaces and Early Childhood Development Centres
- Support awareness raising on child protection, including the rights for children living with disability, using branded posters & education materials, translated into Arabic
- Hire, train and incentivise casual labour for case identification & referral pathways
- Provide sanitary materials for survivors of Gender-Based Violence and to girls with protection concerns
- Provide material support, and cash where possible, to extremely vulnerable individuals identified on arrival.
The aim is to support at least 1,000 children with:
- Learning Materials:
- picture books
- exercise books
- Hygiene Kits:
- laundry soap
- bath soap
- sanitary pads
- other hygiene essentials
- Child Protection and Psychosocial support
Thank you for helping ALWS provide this immediate crisis support.
UPDATE 3: Tuesday 23 May
Families flee to the borders on Sudan any way they can. The LWF team here on the Chad border report the challenges of arid land with temperatures up to 45 degrees.
FAMILIES FLEE CRISIS
The crisis began on April 15th, 2023, when fighting broke out in Khartoum between the two main factions in Sudan:
- Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the ruling militia regime, currently acting as the official Army of the country
- Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a rival paramilitary force.
One month later, an estimated 900 civilians have been killed and a further 4,000+ injured.
As a result of the war 936,000 people have been newly displaced including 736,200 people displaced internally and 200,000 who have crossed into neighbouring countries.
Women and children represent 75 per cent of those affected by this conflict. An estimated 450,000 children have fled their homes.
- 59,229 (53% female, 47% male) individuals have crossed into South Sudan
- 94% these are South Sudanese returnees
- UNHCR estimates, between 125,000 and 180,000 South Sudanese and 45,000 Sudanese are expected to arrive in the next three months
- Entry points include:
- Upper Nile: Renk, Fashoda, Manyo, Panyikrang
- Northern Bahr el Ghazal: Aweil East and North
- Unity: Pariang, Rubkona
- Western Bahr el Ghazal: Raja
- Your ALWS action is planned to focus in Renk, where people are arriving by boat, coming down the Nile:
- WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene)
- Child Protection
- Food Security
- Non-Food Items
- Sical Cohesion
- More than 20,400 people have crossed Ethiopia’s Metema border
- 5,300 people have crossed in Almahal, Benishangul-Gumuz Region
- Most of these are Ethiopian returnees
- Your ALWS action includes:
- Food Security
- Emergency shelter
- Non-Food Items
- total number of refugee arrivals has exceeded 50,000 (18,500male, 31,500 female)
- UNHCR projects a total of 100,000 Sudanese refugees by the end of May
You can see from this photo on the Chad border with Sudan that a large of proportion of the refugees being cared for by LWF teams are women and children.
YOUR ALWS ACTION
Your ALWS action is focused in Ethiopia and South Sudan, where you already support large LWF (Lutheran World Federation) programs through ALWS.
LWF is also working in Chad, as part of the worldwide churches response through ACT Alliance. Church agencies providing care include:
- Lutheran World Federation
- Norwegian Church Aid
- Christian Aid
- Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency
- Ethiopian Orthodox Church
- Ethiopian Evangelical Church of Mekane Yesus (the Lutheran Church in Ethiopia, with 8.3 million members in 8,500 congregations and 4,000 preaching stations)
Your ALWS Emergency Action
UPDATE 2: Tuesday 9 May
UPDATE FROM ETHIOPIA
The front-line LWF team you support in Ethiopia reports:
- as of 3 May, 11,000 people from Sudan crossed into Ethiopia, via town of Medema in West Gondar Zone of Amhara Region
- 19% of arrivals are children
- front-line partners are providing reception, emergency health services, drinking water, sleeping mats, high energy biscuits, transportation
- Amhara regional authorities anticipate further influxes in the tens of thousands
- anticipated arrival points: Metema, Gendawuha, Kurmuk, Assossa Zone
- three sites near Medema have been identified for reception and shelter
- primary needs include food, drinking water, latrines, emergency shelter, health and protection services
- LWF has operations in several IDP sites in Amhara as well as Gambella, one of the possible entry points of Sudanese refugees and returnees into Ethiopia
ALWS has committed $50,000 to the emergency response in Ethiopia,
and a further $50,000 for the response in South Sudan.
EMERGENCY ACTION ALLIANCE
Your ALWS action for Sudan now features on the website of Australia’s Emergency Action Alliance, alongside UNHCR and Plan.
This EAA exposure gives the broader Australian public a chance to respond through ALWS, and is a ‘one stop shop’ for media like the ABC and SBS.
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ACTION
ALWS welcomes the Australian Government recognising the seriousness of the situation in Sudan, and acting quickly and decisively to provide an initial $6 million worth of Australian support.
Statement from Australian Government
We are deeply concerned by the loss of life and destruction that is taking place in Sudan. We call on all parties to agree to a permanent cessation of hostilities.
A negotiated solution is the only path forward for the people of Sudan.
The conflict has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan, which was already suffering high levels of food insecurity with large numbers of displaced people.
We urge all parties to the conflict to uphold international law and protect civilians, including health and humanitarian aid workers.
It is essential that humanitarian agencies are given safe access to deliver life-saving assistance to the people of Sudan.
The Australian Government extends its deepest condolences to the people of Sudan, and the Australian-Sudanese community.
Your ALWS Emergency Action
UPDATE 1: Wednesday 3 May
Why your help is needed
As Sudan moves toward civilian rule, conflict has broken out between warring parties. 500 people have been killed. Thousands injured. 5 million people are displaced.
Countries like UK, US and Russia are evacuating their citizens. Meanwhile, the UN is ‘bracing’ for 800,000 people to cross the borders as refugees.
ALWS will commit $100,000 of aid in-faith from our Emergency Fund.
Your planned ALWS action
In an emergency like this, conditions can change quickly. Our ALWS experience shows the kind of help most likely to be needed may include:
ACTION 1: Household Essentials & Shelter
- Identify and validate beneficiary families
- Supply household essentials through distribution / cash / vouchers
- Distribute basic Shelter Kits
ACTION 2: Food Assistance and Livelihoods
- Kick-start monthly food distributions to families
- Monitor impact on families’ health
ACTION 3: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
- Supply WASH Kits (soap, cresol disinfectant and chlorine)
- Construct emergency latrines (60% women, 40% men)
- Install handwashing facilities
- Construct showers
- Install waste bins
- Construct and repair boreholes
- Distribute water treatment products
- Install water treatment and storage site
- Provide cleaning materials: local brooms, shovels, rakes, buckets, wheelbarrows
If you wish to join this emergency response for families forced to flee Sudan, you are welcome to DONATE NOW.
Frontline Crisis Update
ALWS is in close contact with our LWF partners in the countries bordering Sudan:
– South Sudan, to the south
– Ethiopia, to the east
– Chad, to the west
Through ALWS, you already support life-changing action in South Sudan and Ethiopia.
ALWS has previously supported work in Chad, helping people fleeing Darfur in Sudan.
Mika Jokivuori, heads your LWF (Lutheran World Federation) team in South Sudan.
- 45,000 Sudan refugees
- 120,000 South Sudanese returning
- 80% are women and children
- large impact on current operations in Maban and Jamjang in the north
Meanwhile, the LWF team in Chad report:
- more than 20,000 people have already crossed the border seeking refuge
- several thousand more blocked by the Sudanese Army in the villages of Birceliba, Selea and Simeme.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Abdou Dieng, is warning:
“It has been more than two weeks of devastating fighting in Sudan,
a conflict that is turning Sudan humanitarian crisis into a full-blown catastrophe. The regional spill-over effect of the crisis is a serious concern.”
News reports 3 May suggest warring parties have agreed ‘in principle’ to a 7 day truce, though the situation remains fluid and fragile.
How you can help
The emergency ALWS response of $100,000 is on top of the projects we have budgeted to support this year. Therefore:
- If you would like to support the ALWS 3 Step Action Plan for people fleeing Sudan, you are welcome to donate here. (Donations $2 and over are tax-deductible.)
- If prayer is one of the ways you care for people, please know this support for the front-line LWF teams will be very much appreciated. Please pray for the truce too.
- If you would like further information, ALWS will update you via email and this website. Or feel free to call ALWS on 1300 763 407
Your donation is directed where you are needed most urgently to help people hurt by the crisis in Sudan, in consultation with ALWS on-ground partner LWF (Lutheran World Federation) in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Chad.
How your donation is used wisely
[✓] You help with practical care
Your donation will be used to support families fleeing the current violence in Sudan. Our ALWS in-faith commitment is $100,000. Should ALWS receive income beyond what is needed in these projects, any extra will be used to support critical work in other ALWS-supported projects. Information in this communication is based on data correct at time of writing and may change. Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, or to promote a candidate or organisation affiliated to a particular party, or to support welfare activities as defined by DFAT. For more information, call: 1300 763 407
[✓] Being careful with your care
In 2022, ALWS ‘overheads’ (fundraising and administration costs as defined by ACFID Code of Conduct) were 15.4%. The 5 year average is 15.4%. A copy of the most current ALWS Annual Report can be viewed at alws.org.au or requested: 1300 763 407.
[✓] Your privacy is important to us
Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is The Overseas Aid & Development Agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia – ABN 36 660 551 871