South Sudan: Integrated Rapid Response Mechanism 2017

South Sudan: Integrated Rapid Response Mechanism 2017
Jun 2018

The onset of the conflict in South Sudan in December 2013 changed the landscape of humanitarian access to populations in the conflict-affected states in the Greater Upper Nile region.

Due to insecurity, the population of entire villages fled overnight and staff of non-governmental organizations were evacuated, leaving no access to basic services. In March 2014, to reach internally displaced people and those most affected by the ongoing conflict with lifesaving humanitarian assistance, and to re-open humanitarian space, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) initiated an Integrated Rapid Response Mechanism (IRRM). This was designed to address critical gaps in provision of lifesaving humanitarian coverage and to meet the needs of those who might otherwise be inaccessible by responding to the rapidly changing environment on the ground.

By 2016, using general food distribution registration as a platform for beneficiary identification, WFP and UNICEF had jointly deployed more than 90 joint IRRM missions, mostly in the Greater Upper Nile region. Over 1.4 million people in hard-to-reach and isolated areas of South Sudan were given lifesaving food and nutrition rations, paired with other critical services. In 2017, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) joined WFP and UNICEF, contributing livelihood inputs to the missions.

Paired with the expectation of continued conflict across the country and continued funding, WFP, FAO and UNICEF will continue to deploy IRRM missions to any part of the country where there are extraordinary humanitarian needs, even in the most isolated and hardest to reach areas. The need to ensure that protection of civilians continues to be streamlined into the IRRM to ensure conflict-sensitive programming, as well as enabling follow-up modalities post-mission, are amongst the priorities which will lead operationally in the coming year.