South Sudan is in urgent need of help. Over five million people are facing a severe food crisis, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.
In 2013, after several years of peace, violent conflict erupted between the government and an armed rebel group. Civil unrest has disrupted South Sudan’s fragile progress and the sense of hope that accompanied the country’s rise to independence in 2011.
Fighting has claimed thousands of lives and driven nearly four million people from their homes. While many remain displaced inside the country, over two million have fled to neighbouring countries to reach safety.
Almost all of South Sudan’s population depend on what they can grow for survival. With their lives disrupted, living in refugee camps far from their farms, they are unable to plant their crops or feed their families. This means that hunger is increasing—even in areas not affected by fighting, pushing the vulnerable country further into a food crisis, one the UN Security Council called the worst in the world.
In parts of the country, famine has been declared—the first since 2011 in Somalia, when starvation took the lives of over a quarter million people.
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- The conflict that broke out in South Sudan on December 15, 2013 has left thousands dead, and vulnerable populations continue to flee fighting.
- 1.9 million people have fled their homes and are now displaced within South Sudan. Another 2.4 million have fled to neighbouring countries, with the largest numbers in Sudan and Uganda.
- Over one million children under five years of age in South Sudan are estimated to be acutely malnourished.
- Even before the conflict erupted, 50.6% of South Sudan’s population lived below the poverty line.
- South Sudan had been making progress—food security levels were the best they had been in five years. The conflict is reversing some of the progress recently made.
- Conflict had disrupted food markets and washed out roads are making it harder for food to reach those in need.
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PWS&D Responds to Urgent Need in South Sudan
With members of the ACT Alliance, PWS&D is supporting a response that is addressing urgent needs including food security, nutrition, non-food items, sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods assistance as well as education and psychosocial support for 180,000 crisis-affected people.
PWS&D has been responding to severe hunger in South Sudan through an emergency food aid project led by Canadian Foodgrains Bank member ADRA Canada. Families who have fled conflict, as well as host communities who have welcomed refugees, are receiving food vouchers, grains, beans, lentils and cooking oil. Your gifts helped reach 2,250 of the most vulnerable families, ensuring three nourishing meals a day.
A particular focus is on young children and pregnant or nursing mothers—the people who stand to suffer most when their lives are disrupted. Without proper nutrition during critical periods of growth and development, young children will suffer the effects of this conflict and hunger their entire lives.
With Canadian Foodgrains Bank member Tearfund Canada, PWS&D has been helping provide life-saving nutrition support for 42,000 pregnant and lactating mothers and children under five. At feeding centres, mothers and children are screened for malnutrition and given special therapeutic foods to recover. Caregivers are also educated in proper hygiene and child feeding practices.
Respond With Us
Relief operations are underway throughout South Sudan, but as bitter violence endures, citizens continue to flee and millions remain trapped in cycles of hunger, displacement and distress. Respond with us to help ease the suffering of those affected and pray that the conflict comes to a peaceful end.
You can make a donation through your church offering, by mailing a cheque to the PWS&D office, calling us at 1-800-619-7301 ext. 291, or by clicking the donate button. Please mark your donation “South Sudan”.
*Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s response in South Sudan is undertaken with support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, which matches funding from CFGB for emergency food aid on a 4:1 basis.
Banner: Women line up to receive food from the ACT Alliance in Rumading, a village in South Sudan’s Lol State. Credit: Paul Jeffrey, ACT Alliance.