In addition, the referendum that took place in January caused tension and concern in some areas of operation. The majority of the population voted for separation from the North and up till now it is unclear what will happen prior to and after the separation in July, because there still remain some sensitive issues uncertain such as division of oil revenues, border demarcations and water resources.
One of our programmes is the HIV/AIDS programme (funded by the Multi Donor Trust Fund). A public health advisor from HQ spent one month in South Sudan to support the teams of the HIV/AIDS programmes. Together with the team in Juba work plans were updated, priorities were set and meetings with donors and authorities were held. In the HIV/AIDS programme, HealthNet TPO is lead agency in 4 states (Western/Northern Bahr elo Ghazal, Warrap and Unity State). Our technical staff is working alongside the State AIDS Commissions (SAC) to improve delivery of the basic package of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment by strengthening the capacity of the SAC, State Ministries of Health (SMOH) and local organizations. Over 20 local Community Based Organizations and NGOs have recently submitted proposals to carry out part of the programme activities. Technical and financial assessments of these proposals are currently ongoing.
The expectation is that HealthNet TPO can soon subcontract part of the work to these local organizations as capacity building is the main strategy to make this programme sustainable. Through the baseline study, conducted to assess the current HIV/AIDS situation in the 4 States, a collective workplan with the SAC’s and MOH was finalized. In close partnership with the State Authorities HealthNet TPO is currently working hard to address the identified gaps. Using the most appropriate approach to build the capacity of our partners and stakeholders as well as the deteriorated security situation in some parts of the country remain challenging in this programme.