Refugees International Japan visits refugee communities around the world on a regular basis so that we can see at first hand the
kind of impact your donations have. We are used to hearing bad news from countries affected by war. However, the people we
meet, who are doing their best for their families and their communities, always
impress our teams. Their resilience is amazing. The programs we fund help them to rebuild their lives and prepare for the return home.
VISIT REPORT: Juba, Southern Sudan
This was the first visit made by Refugees International Japan to Sudan. Two years after a deal was signed to end the long conflict in southern Sudan, the area, and its capital of Juba, was going through both an economic and social transformation. Our team investigated the situation with regard to displaced people and discussed funding of some projects with NGOs. Subsequent to this visit, we agreed to fund a number of community-based projects.
Size of problem
Around 4 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs)
130,000: 40,000 through the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the rest spontaneous where the refugees lived within walking distance of their old homes. UNHCR reports that the return program could benefit up to 500,000 people.
The South Sudan Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Council (SSRRC) gives out food provided by the UN World Food Program (WFP) to demobilized soldiers.
UNICEF cares for demobilized child soldiers. The camps in Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo will close by end April 2007.
UNHCR is working with 10 - 15 implementing partners. Waystations have been established where the returnees complete voluntary return forms and receive packages for resettlement: non-food items, food rations for three months and transport to destination.
Situation for returnees
Due to the length of time that people have been away, some encounter problems of family recognition in their home villages.
There are problems with health provision, especially HIV/AIDS treatment - in the camps NGOs provided such facilities. Refugees who are wary of the new government are slow to return.
Returnee youth need activities: they feel redundant upon return, are not in school and cannot get into education because they need national ID to enter university. Some drop out and return to exile. So far about 2000 youth have returned to Juba and another 2000 are expected. RIJ is discussing the possibility of funding a program for youth returnees in Juba.