Many people in South Sudan don’t have access to the food they need to live healthy lives. From August 2019 to April 2020, PWS&D was part of a response that helped families by providing food vouchers as well as tools and other farming supplies. Now, as prices for seeds remain high and COVID-19 further raises market prices for food, needs also remain high.

For subsistence farmers, who live off the income from the fruits and vegetables grown on their land, it’s hard to survive the months when their farm isn’t producing. It is difficult for families to plan for the future when all their energy is being spent trying to meet immediate needs.

COVID-19 has further disrupted many people’s already fragile economic situations. According to the World Food Programme, from May to July 2020 in the Aweil East county of South Sudan, over 150,000 people will not have enough to eat, with the number of people facing severe food insecurity double what it was in January. With many men forced to stay home due to the crisis, women are at greater risk for sexual violence at home or when foraging for fruit to eat or firewood to sell.

Beneficiaries practicing social distancing as they received the food packages.

Through a Canadian Foodgrains Bank project, led by Tearfund Canada, PWS&D is helping provide immediate food assistance to 1,150 families to meet pressing nutritional needs.

“Fishery equipment is the best tool for [families] to catch something to eat quickly”

Looking ahead, the provision of farming inputs and fishing equipment will allow many people to grow food when the season is right for growing, and to fish in the rainy season when ponds and rivers provide an alternate source of nutrition. Important training in the preparation and storage of food also continues, with safety measures for COVID-19 in place.

As in the previous phase of the project and to help combat some of the conditions created by COVID-19, women continue to be empowered by participating in training on sexual and gender-based violence.

*PWS&D is a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church-based agencies working together to end global hunger.