Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
The President of the Republic of South Sudan declared a State of Emergency on 29 October 2019 covering 29 counties affected by flash floods in South Sudan. The floods resulted to substantial destruction of houses, road networks and destroyed the livelihoods of 10,892 households according to the results of the Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) conducted by South Sudan Red Cross (SSRC) in collaboration with the State department for Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC).
Since July 2019, South Sudan has experienced unusually heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding, affecting an estimated 908,000 people, of whom 420,000 people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. Flooding has affected the states of Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Lakes, Central and Eastern Equatoria. About 103 000 hectare of cultivated land has been damaged with an estimated loss of 97 000 tonnes of grain, 42 nutrition service centers have suspended operation, and currently assessment indicate that about USD 61.5 million is required to respond.
An estimated 46,000 people were displaced in Maiwut (33,000) and Tonj South (13,000). This aggravated the already dire situation in August when seasonal floods affected more than 364,600 people in different locations including more than 31,600 people in Akobo, Pibor and Uror counties in Jonglei, about 29,000 people in Aweil Centre County in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, about 4,000 people in Mayendit County in Unity and some 300,000 people in Gogrial West, Gogrial East and Tonj North counties in Warrap. The heavy rains destroyed shelters, crops, water sources, public infrastructure like schools and health facilities, increased the risk of water-borne diseases among communities, and rendered many roads impassable, constraining access to affected areas. (OCHA, 27 Sep 2019)
Floods caused by torrential rains have worsened the living conditions of South Sudanese people in many parts of the country in the past few months. Some of the areas affected include Lafon, Torit and Kapoeta South counties in Eastern Equatoria; Ayod, Akobo, Bor South, Duk, Twic East, Pibor, Pochalla and Uror counties in Jonglei; Aweil Center and Aweil North in Northern Bahr el Ghazal; Abiemnhom, Mayom, Mayendit and Panyijiar in Unity; Maban in Upper Nile; and Gogrial East, Gogrial West and Tonj North in Warrap. (OCHA, 11 Oct 2019)
According to UNHCR, unprecedented heavy flooding in South Sudan’s Maban County has affected nearly 200,000 people, including refugees and host population. (UNHCR, 18 Oct 2019) Torrential rains have left wide swaths of Greater Jonglei devastated and its inhabitants displaced. With more precipitation on the forecasted horizon, there are fears that the situation may deteriorate further. Of the nearly one million people in South Sudan affected by the floods, UNICEF estimates that around 490,000 are children (UNMISS, 29 Oct 2019.)
Following the declaration of the State of Emergency and given the huge challenges with regards to emergency coordination hampered by the absence of a National and State Contingency/Response Plans and of a coordination structure that is weak and with limited capacity, the Government of South Sudan through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (MHADM) requested for UNDP support on coordination, data/information management, recovery planning, and initial recovery interventions. The CO has already responded by giving intermittent technical support and by conducting a PDNA training that will be the basis for the development of the disaster recovery framework and plan. The CO is mobilizing on supporting the Government and partners on the other aspects needed to have a more coherent and coordinated response (and with a strong capacity development orientation) to the emergency situation.
Duties and Responsibilities
Working directly under the guidance and oversight of the Office of the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the UNCT-deployed International DRM Advisor, the Communication and Programming Support Officer is expected to undertake the following:
Required Skills and Experience
Education:Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communication, Development Communication, or related field.
Experience:At least 3 years relevant experience in a relevant communications role
LanguageProficiency in English is a must.