The ACT South Sudan Forum organized a one-day validation workshop for the development of Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) for South Sudan. The workshop was held on May 31, 2019 and brought together over 20 officials and invitees. Participants included delegates from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (MHADM), the South Sudan Commission for Refugee Affairs (CRA) of Government of South Sudan and representatives from the United Nations. Civil society partners included OXFAM, CARE, CARITAS including ACT Forum members present in South Sudan.
The Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) has been an integral part of the ACT forum activity in South Sudan where all the 15 forum members work together to address the issues of Fragility, Conflict, and Vulnerability (FCV) through an integrated, coordinated and holistic resilience planning for effective disaster preparedness and conflict. The one-day validation workshop brought in a wide range of stakeholders and partners under one roof to discuss various components, its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and the future sustainability of such initiative.
The workshop started with welcoming the participants and invitees by Mr. Alex Gupirii, Act South Sudan Forum Coordinator.
Mr. Magne Svendsen, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Co-Convener of the ACT South Sudan Forum gave the keynote address reiterating the paramount importance of such plan taking into consideration various challenges and needs of the country. He also mentioned the value of such plan that would ensure the effective use of resources including both financial and manpower resources. Mr James Wani, Country Director of Christian Aid and Co-Convener of ACT South Sudan Forum thanked all the delegates for participating in the workshop. Mr Wani particularly focused on the importance of such joint initiatives and cited successful examples where common efforts saved a high number of lives and livelihoods in multi-hazard prone countries in the Asia Pacific. Ms Betty Scopas, Head of the Early Warning Systems of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (MHADM) congratulated the ACT Forum for such initiative and mentioned the complementarity of the ACT plans with the Government of South Sudan’s broader resilience and DRR Strategy. She also emphasised the potential linkages of the ACT plans with the activities, policies and programmes of the ministry.
The one day workshop was facilitated by Mr. Dillip Kumar, International Consultant, EPRP for ACT South Sudan Forum. Mr Kumar presented on the linkage of EPRP with the global, regional and national resilience agendas of South Sudan. He also mentioned the importance of EPRP and its contribution towards the achievement of the Sendai Framework for DRR (SFDRR) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He also pointed out at the importance of a coordinated, integrated and holistic EPR plan that contributes towards the Strategic Plan of the MHADM and the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) along with the Refugee and Response Plan (RRP). Mr. Kumar also presented the detailed EPRP components and the process that led to the development of the plan through an intensive consultations and review of literature. The forum members were involved and engaged in this process from the early stages and this contributed to a feeling of ownership and clarity.
The plan of action was shared with the invitees as a final step before formal approval and finalization. It has also been agreed that a roll out and operationalization plan of the EPRP will also be developed.