As South Sudan counts down to independence following January’s referendum, RedR launches a new training programme that will provide life-saving skills to local relief workers in the volatile region.
The programme has been developed in response to calls from the humanitarian community to better equip relief workers with the necessary skills to work safely and effectively in the Africa’s newest nation, and make sure desperately-needed aid – such as food, water, shelter and medicine – reaches those who need it most.
Insecurity in South Sudan has escalated considerably in recent months and threatens to mar the official secession from Sudan on 9 July.
Since the referendum – in which 98.83% voted in favour of separation – more than 1,100 people have been killed and 100,000 displaced by violent clashes between the South Sudanese Army (SPLA) and armed rebel groups.
The ongoing violence is stripping people of their livelihoods and seriously hampering the delivery of vital humanitarian aid. At the beginning of May, the killing of a World Food Programme staff member forced a two week suspension of distributions, denying 235,000 people desperately needed supplies.
“In the highest risk areas aid agencies are increasingly being forced to deliver programmes remotely, transferring that risk to local aid workers on the frontline of aid delivery,” said RedR chief executive Martin McCann.
“RedR’s training programme will directly support these local aid workers, so that they can deal with security risks, respond to threats and maximise the chances of delivering vital aid safely.”
From July, RedR South Sudan will run a range of training courses in all aspects of safety and security, staff welfare, humanitarian practices and principles, and disaster risk reduction.
In the next two years 6,000 relief workers and 160 organisations are set to benefit from the programme. Many of those trained will be Sudanese nationals; ensuring local communities have the capacity and expertise to deliver more humanitarian projects in their own country.
RedR’s South Sudan programme – which builds on the success of RedR’s existing humanitarian training programme in Darfur – will support humanitarian agencies and their staff, helping to reduce the impact of future humanitarian crises.