Renewed fighting over the course of July and August in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, forced thousands of people to flee into Uganda’s West Nile Region. Security for new arrivals was a concern, as looting and random acts of violence against civilians were reported. Estimates showed that between 500 and 1,400 people were arriving into Uganda every day.
The unprecedented and unexpected influx of people into Uganda left the country and responding agencies overwhelmed. The available resources were insufficient to assist the new arrivals. Women and children made up 87% of new arrivals, which also created protection concerns for this population. Health issues, including a recent outbreak of cholera, only exacerbated the situation.
Plan International Canada undertook to reduce the vulnerability of crisis-affected people, especially women and children, by providing safe and protective environments, improving access to drinking water and promoting hygienic practices.
Reported program activities include:
• support the establishment of four Child-Friendly Spaces to facilitate age- and gender-appropriate protection and psychosocial activities
• provide vulnerable children with relief items such as blankets and clothes, and refer them to appropriate agencies for further support
• establish and support three community-based child protection committees in one of the new refugee settlements
• ensure availability of safe drinking water, in particular for the Child-Friendly Spaces
• build temporary pit latrines equipped with hand-washing facilities
• train volunteers in each settlement to educate refugees on proper hygiene practices
• provide dignity kits (including combs, sanitary pads, underwear and other items) to 3,000 adolescent girls and women.