COVID-19 Risk Communication & Community Engagement Stories from the Field – South Sudan

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 / UNICEF

Description

South Sudan is a young country that has been plagued by political instability and civil war for much of its sovereignty. This civil unrest has affected both the country’s population and infrastructure. Being one of the poorest countries in the world, most basic services within the country come from humanitarian entities. A large portion of the population – almost 7 million people, rely on humanitarian aid. The large internally displaced person (IDP) populations, pastoralists, and wide-scale poverty have made South Sudan vulnerable to numerous health emergencies in the past and continue to make it extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. The lack of formal infrastructure and electricity have resulted in a poor mass media landscape within the country, posing challenges to mass communication and engagement. However, the ongoing humanitarian efforts there provided an existing platform that could be built upon and leveraged in the COVID-19 response. The UNICEF South Sudan Country Office (CO) has initiated several unique strategies in order to address these barriers and attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and accompanying rumours and misinformation throughout the country