June 10, 2020 (PIBOR) – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday handed over to Plan International a newly constructed humanitarian hub in South Sudan’s Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).
The establishment of the hub, IOM said, will enable expansion of operations across hard-to-reach areas of the GPAA through an increase in static humanitarian presence.
The hub will reportedly provide safe, secure and reliable accommodation and office space for aid workers of both national and international organizations.
“It will help improve sustainability and the capacity of aid organizations to respond effectively and efficiently to natural disasters and other events that require humanitarian assistance,” further noted the statement.
According to the agency, efforts to scale up support towards existing capacities for area-based response is crucially important in the face of challenges posed by unprecedented heavy flooding which can make road networks impassable, cutting off humanitarian aid.
Likewise, protracted conflict across parts of the GPAA have triggered multiple displacements and collapse of livelihoods, also making the need for time critical and life-saving frontline activities ever more important, it stressed.
“The humanitarian hub goes beyond just a physical structure. It is a way to ensure that when a humanitarian crisis occurs which calls for urgent response, humanitarian teams are ready on the ground to respond swiftly and effectively to save the lives of affected populations,” said Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM’s Chief of Mission in South Sudan.
“We need humanitarian teams to be as close as possible to the people they serve, and this is exactly what the humanitarian hub offers,” he added.
While speaking during the handover ceremony, the head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Steve O’Malley said South Sudan is facing its highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition since its independence in 2011.
“It is critical that we have a presence in areas where we can swiftly reach the most food insecure people. People in hard-to-reach areas in GPAA are facing catastrophic conditions. Sub-national violence, flooding and poor road conditions have made is difficult to reach people with humanitarian assistance,” explained O’Malley.
“The humanitarian hub will help to ease the pressure on humanitarian organizations and play an important role to ensure more predictable humanitarian presence, building the confidence of people in the community,” he added.
The Pibor humanitarian hub, funded by the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF), is part of a network of humanitarian hubs IOM is setting up in remote areas where humanitarian needs are high.