The conflict in South Sudan has caused immeasurable suffering.In the past six years, international observers have estimated 400,000 people have died. Today, at least 4.1 million people remain displacedâ€“two million within the countryâ€“having fled their homes in search of safety.
Now, South Sudan is showing signs of recovery.
The September 2018 signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan has brought increased security and stabilization in more and more of the country, providing new opportunities for displaced populations to go home.Over the past 11 months since the agreement, some 530,000 individuals have returned, according to IOM's latestDisplacement Tracking Matrix Mobility Tracking report.
Nonetheless, millions of people still have to cope with ongoing food insecurity, conflict and violent crime throughout the countryâ€“all drivers of crisisâ€“which now have become barriers to recovery that must be addressed to build resilience, peace and stability.
IOM South Sudan recently released a roadmap for supporting conflict-affected communities as they transition from crisis to development, particularly displaced populations preparing to return home.
TheReturn, Recovery and Resilience Strategyis designed to promote sustainable returns and recovery.
"By bringing local actors to the forefront of the return and recovery process, we will support them to drive transformative change in an inclusive manner," said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission. "We'll engage communities through their capacities rather than their needs, regarding them as active drivers of recovery, as opposed to passive recipients of aid."
IOM has been implementing such recovery and resilience projects in South Sudan since 2011. Given its role as the global migration agency, IOM draws on decades of experience worldwide responding to the challenges in situations where conflict meets forced migration, as well as a long history of adapting its humanitarian response to the needs of affected populations.
Moreover, IOM is committed to working with partners to uphold the dignity and well-being of returnees. Improving access and provision of services is vital for communities' sustainable return. That builds trust across conflict lines and helps returnees resume economic activity and receive protection.
"This strategy will act as a blueprint for each target location in South Sudan, especially where we can leverage our current operational presence, existing community and partner relationships and contextual knowledge," Chauzy added.