Since 2013, the crisis in South Sudan has forced millions of people to flee their homes. Several thousand South Sudanese caught between fighting and famine have fled the country, while 1.9 million internally displaced people have taken refuge in camps around Juba, the capital, and in more isolated regions of the country. Most are women, children, and older people, including people with disabilities.
Humanity & Inclusion has deployed emergency mobile teams to assist the most vulnerable individuals. They provide rehabilitation and psychosocial support to people in conflict-affected areas. The teams consist of specialists who provide technical and material support to rehabilitation centers in remote and isolated areas and directly care for people with disabilities by providing them with rehabilitation and orthopedic-fitting sessions.
Steven Lavour, a rehabilitation health worker with Humanity & Inclusion, is a member of the Juba mobile team. He is providing support to Isaac Ramadan, a physical therapist from the rehabilitation center in the city of Yei. He is also responsible for supplying the center with mobility aids.
Growing mobility needs
“A lot of people in Yei need wheelchairs, crutches, and prostheses,” explains Steven. “Unfortunately, we cannot keep up with the rapidly growing demand. Many people are currently waiting to be fit with an orthopedic device or to receive a mobility aid. People who have fled the Yei region during the crisis are now returning. The challenge for Humanity & Inclusion will be to respond to this rise in demand. It will be several months before we receive and distribute the orthopedic devices, which are being made in Kenya.”
Conflict in South Sudan
In fact, for several months, hope has returned to the South Sudanese as the peace agreement signed in September 2018 begins to take effect, with a de-escalation in tensions and a reduction in conflicts. Displaced people and refugees in the camps are planning to return to their villages or have already begun to do so.
Humanity & Inclusion’s mobile teams have also set up discussion groups for members of the community in order to assess their needs, along with information sessions on disability prevention measures and community-based rehabilitation.
Humanity & Inclusion in South Sudan
Our teams have been operating in South Sudan since 2006, working to improve protection, quality of life, and the promotion of rights of vulnerable populations. Since December 2013, South Sudan has been undergoing a political crisis, which has resulted in fighting and massive population movements. The number of internally displaced people has reached 4.3 million and some 1.6 million South Sudanese—63% of which are children—have fled to other countries in desperate need of aid. Our team is on the ground, contributing to the urgent humanitarian response. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's work in South Sudan.