Looking back to look ahead? Reviewing key lessons from Operation Lifeline Sudan and past humanitarian operations in South Sudan

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Daniel Maxwell, Martina Santschi and Rachel Gordon
Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium
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Since December 2013, South Sudan has once again been embroiled in wide-scale internal conflict, resulting in the internal displacement of 1.3 million people, with an additional 450,000 seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. The fighting and displacement has led to significantly increased requirements for humanitarian assistance, and a significantly scaled-up response, with some 3.8 million people in need, only 2.7 million of whom have been reached with some proportion of what they require (OCHA, 2014). Given the shortfalls in aid and the constraints – both physical and political – in accessing affected populations, there is widespread fear that the situation will deteriorate further before it improves. Humanitarian agencies have been trying to scale up operations over the past eight months, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.