Around this time of year, aid groups in South Sudan are stocking up on supplies before the rainy season starts and further complicates their relief work.
Poor infrastructure and lack of roads have led organizations to prepare in advance to make sure their warehouses are full before the rain starts pouring down and cutting off outlying areas that almost immediately become inaccessible by road.
But with the deteriorating insecurity in the country since the failed coup last December, this strategy is proving hard to accomplish.
The current spat of instability — which started out as an isolated crisis in Juba but has since spread to seven states — has “disrupted” the so-called “prepositioning” strategy. Aid groups are finding it increasingly difficult to move across states because their suppliers are not willing to take the risk.
Transportation services are “nervous” and “unwilling to put their assets (trucks) and drivers at risk on insecure roads,” Heather Blackwell, country director for the Danish Refugee Council, told Devex.
“Suppliers and business have all but disappeared in Juba — therefore, procurement in Juba for even basic items is becoming more difficult … Regional suppliers may be able to supply materials but only to Juba,” she said.
And the situation is not expected to improve anytime soon, so in early 2014 relief distribution will prove do even more daunting for aid workers.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.