In February 2014, the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) activated a Level 3 Emergency Response for South Sudan due to the conflict that broke out in December 2013 thus resulting in the consequent displacement of large population groups in the three states of Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile.
The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) has been active in South Sudan since 2011, shortly after its separation from Sudan. However, in response to the unfolding crisis of 2014, ETC scaled up its activities to provide an adequate response due to an escalation of the situation as compared to previous years.
Taking into consideration the number of active UN agencies, international and national NGOs present in South Sudan, the humanitarian community requested the ETC to continue its key role in coordinating and supporting emergency telecommunications services allowing for reliable access to security and key information in 2016.
For 2016 the ETC support will focus on coordination, partnership building and service brokerage. WFP, as the lead agency for ETC, will continue to facilitate all inter-agency projects and will explore new activities and services as the relief effort continues to expand to new areas. WFP will maintain its crucial function as provider of last resort, strategically prepositioning equipment for fast deployment as required.