Who we are
The Relief, Reintegration, and Protection (RRP) Section of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS or the Mission) is the interface between the Mission and a variety of partners who provide critical humanitarian services to internally displaced people (IDPs). RRP also supports the Mission’s strategic objective “…to foster a secure environment for safe, voluntary, and dignified, return of IDPs and refugees and build durable peace” in South Sudan. In order to support the Mission to realise its objective, RRP focuses on four core areas of work, namely: Protection of Civilians, Coordination, Return and Reintegration, and Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) in the Mission’s 10 field offices across the country.
What we do
RRP’s activities under Protection of Civilians go well beyond the administration of UNMISS Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites. For instance, RRP regularly engages IDPs in PoC sites to identify protection concerns and work out mechanisms to maintain the civilian character of the PoC sites, put in place early warning and contingency plans for the PoC sites, and conduct analysis to inform PoC policy development and decision making. RRP also conducts basic protection needs assessments across the country to inform protection responses by the Mission, as well as help establish a protective environment for civilians.
Under the Coordination component of work, RRP coordinates the Mission’s support services to enable safe delivery of humanitarian assistance to displaced people and vulnerable civilians. RRP also represents the Mission’s interests in various humanitarian and development forums at national and sub national level. This role helps the Mission to effectively contribute to dialogue discussions among key partners and UN actors for coordinated responses to promote resilience and early recovery.
Under the Return and Reintegration component of work, RRP works with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) to identify, nurture, and support opportunities for safe, voluntary, and dignified return and reintegration of IDPs. RRP’s activities include conducting preliminary protection needs assessments in potential areas of return for displaced people – this includes facilitating IDPs to make “go and see/come and tell” visits to their intended areas of return; engaging displaced people to ascertain issues hindering return and reintegration to their communities of choice; engaging state authorities to emphasize their primary role to provide security in potential IDP return and reintegration areas; conducting workshops, rallies, and media sensitization programmes to help foster peaceful coexistence; and using QIPs resources to establish basic infrastructure to facilitate return and reintegration.
RRP manages the Mission’s Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) which are essentially low cost and rapidly implementable projects. The Mission uses QIPs to protect civilians, build durable peace, and establish basic infrastructure to enable displaced people to return home safely to live with dignity. In that sense, therefore, QIPs help the Mission to strengthen its relationship with the people and build necessary trust for the Mission to discharge its mandate in a supportive socio-political environment.
Since the outbreak of civil war in December 2013, RRP has worked closely with UNMISS security components (UNPOL and Force), PoC Camp Management partners, IDP leaders, and a variety of other partners to help create conducive conditions to facilitate safe delivery of humanitarian assistance to 182,030IDPs in five PoC sites in Juba, Bentiu, Bor, Malakal, and Wau. RRP has also led and participated in integrated UNMISS patrols to remote and hard-to-reach locations to conduct basic protection needs assessments that have helped partners to conduct more detailed expert assessments to inform their responses.
To support the Mission to “foster a secure environment for the safe, informed, voluntary, and dignified, return, relocation and resettlement or reintegration into host communities for IDPs and refugees”, RRP engaged Implementing Partners to conduct a series of activities in Western Bahr El Ghazal state to help restore trust between IDPs, state security actors, and host communities. Through these activities, many South Sudanese citizens were able to voice their opinions, concerns, and suggest actions to help foster national reconciliation, peaceful co-existence, and how to create an enabling environment for voluntary return and reintegration of displaced people. In Upper Nile state, RRP’s programmatic activities have helped IDP youth and their counterparts in mainstream society to learn new vocational skills which have empowered them to engage in peaceful livelihoods activities to make their return and reintegration more sustainable. The vocational training also helped reunite youth (both male and female) who had been kept apart by ethnic hostilities and conflicts.
In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, RRP managed the establishment of 24 Quick Impact Projects worth almost $1,200,000. For instance, to support the Mission’s protection of civilian mandate, RRP managed the renovation and construction of courts and police posts to strengthen rule of law; managed the establishment of water points to mitigate conflicts over water resources; and supported installation of solar power systems in two radio stations. To support the Mission’s efforts to build durable peace, RRP supported establishment of community peace centres. Five schools were either constructed or rehabilitated resulting in a 77% increase in enrollment in those schools.
The road ahead
RRP will continue to coordinate with and support humanitarian actors, NGOs and UN agencies in programming activities that aim to create a positive impact on the people of South Sudan with a focus on improving women’s rights, access to education, improving livelihoods opportunities, as well as improving the rule of law and stability and conflict resolution.
RRP will remain UNMISS’ lead Section for all issues related to Protection of Civilians sites.
Building on its prior experience facilitating returns during the pre-independence period and its expertise in early recovery and community development work, RRP will support Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, humanitarian and development agencies’s efforts to foster the safe and voluntary return and reintegration of people affected by the current conflict, including those who have sought protection within UNMISS bases.
RRP, in coordination with partners, will continue to oversee implementation of UNMISS’s Quick Impact Projects.