South Sudanese delegation to the just ended Anglophone Africa Focal Point Workshop in Uganda met with members of the Uganda Family Planning Consortium (UFPC), on the sidelines of the meeting as part of the south-to-south learning under the FP2030 East and Southern Africa (ESA) Hub, initiative.
UFPC is non-profit membership organization established in 2010 to provide a platform for Reproductive Health (RH) and Family Planning (FP) actors, private sector, academia, and policy makers to collaborate, share knowledge and work together in new complementary ways to avoid duplication.
Dr Carol Sekimpi, Chairperson UFPC Board of Directors, welcome the delegation and said, “friendly neighbors, Uganda was more than willing to work with its fellow sisters and brothers to ensure that family planning reaches every part of South Sudan.”
She added her organization was more than willing to work with South Sudan as “technical partner” to build institutional capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSO), to implement effective RH/FP programs. Dr Sekimpi expressed gratitude to the FP2030 ESA Hub for the initiative and said their “doors were open,” for further engagement and exchange.
The FP2030 ESA Hub, Managing Director Dr Sheila Macharia, said the meeting of the South Sudanese Focal Point Structure and the UFPC, was part of their deliberate efforts to have countries learn from each other to establish and amplify good practices across the hub.
“We are very deliberate on south-to-south learning, and we want the sharing of best practices through peer to peer, country to country be the norm across the hub,” said Dr Macharia.
The South Sudanese expressed willingness to learn from UFPC especially on distribution of family planning commodities and reaching the last mile and how can government and civil society can work closely together.
Meanwhile, South Sudan faces the most challenging period since it gained independence a decade ago, with a converging set of crises including its highest-ever levels of food insecurity, repeated floods, armed conflict, and a renewed wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All this had a net effect of women and girls failing to access RH and FP services resulting because of stockouts and insecurities because of the war.
Violence between armed groups is creating new waves of internally displaced people (IDP), adding to an IDP population already estimated at more than 1.6 million – not counting an additional 2.3 million who have fled South Sudan.
For women and girls who are disproportionately affected by food scarcity and already subject to widespread gender-based violence, it also means facing even greater risks of abuse, exploitation, including sexual violence and early and forced marriages. Attacks on humanitarian staff, assets, and compounds have also escalated in recent weeks, directly harming those who need urgent humanitarian assistance.