Appeal for South Sudan Crisis

by Gerry Lynch last modified 27 Oct, 2015 11:18 AM

Christian Aid launch appeal as international agencies say 4 million at risk of hunger; Diocesan Sudan link meets in Shaftesbury

Appeal for South Sudan Crisis

Millions of South Sudanese depend on food assistance in the midst of civil war. The UN World Food Programme will help 3 million South Sudanese this year. Photo: WFP/Giulio d’Adamo

After nearly 2 years of civil war, an international report released last week raised the food security alert level in parts of South Sudan to ‘catastrophic’ and ‘emergency’ levels.

The alert, based on results endorsed by the Government of South Sudan, calls for immediate humanitarian action to prevent famine in the world’s newest independent country.

The report suggests that nearly 4 million people, a third of the population, live in areas that are severely food insecure. Of these, 30,000 live in areas ranked at the ‘catastrophe’ level where starvation, death and destitution become evident. 830,000 people live in areas of ‘humanitarian emergency’, living with extreme food consumption gaps leading to widespread acute malnutrition. Many people many are eating wild foods and drinking unsafe water to survive.

The number of food insecure households across the country is almost 80% higher than in the same period last year as the long-term effects of conflict take their toll. 

In response, Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal for South Sudan, with details and prayers available on the Christian Aid website here.  

In Unity state, one of the three states that has been worst-affected, Christian Aid’s partner is distributing fast maturing vegetable seeds, fishing nets, water purification tablets, and plastic sheeting for shelter to the most vulnerable households.

To help prevent the spread of disease, it is also distributing hygiene kits, which include soap, sanitary products, jerry cans for transporting and storing water and mosquito nets.
 
Rosie Crowther, Christian Aid Emergency Programme Officer, is currently visiting Nyal in Unity State and said: “The situation in conflict areas is critical. People who have fled the fighting with nothing are depending on host families to survive but these families are struggling themselves.

“Crops and food stores have been destroyed, cattle stolen, livelihoods ruined. Civilians have suffered violent attacks. People are eating wild foods and drinking unsafe water to survive. We urgently need more funding to respond to this humanitarian crisis.”

The present conflict in South Sudan erupted 22 months ago after a political struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar quickly escalated along ethnic lines and spread.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, more than 1.6 million have been internally displaced and 600,000 refugees have fled the country to escape the ongoing violence. In recent months, fighting has begun to spread to the south and west of the country, which had been least affected until now.

TSudan Study Day Participants WEB.jpghe humanitarian alert came just days after more than 80 people, including Bishop Nicholas, attended the Diocese’s annual Sudan Day in Shaftesbury School on Saturday 10 October 2015. Delegates heard about both the immediate crisis in South Sudan as well as plans for the time when peace returns to the country.

Robert Hayward spoke about the Christian Aid work in helping internally displaced people which is being supported by the Diocese. Dr Eeva John on work to develop a new Anglican University with its administrative headquarters in Juba, but with linked sites around the country and in Sudan, based initially on existing church educational facilities. 

Dr Rhiannon Lloyd spoke about her work on post-conflict trauma. She had been a GP and consultant psychiatrist in Wales, but felt a clear call from God to help in post-conflict Rwanda. Her work there led to invitations to work in South Africa and in the Congo. Her Peace, Reconciliation and Healing of Post Conflict Trauma programme is now being used in a number of countries, including South Sudan. 

In the final morning session Dr Elizabeth Hockney talked about the work of the Chalke deanery with Cueibet, and showed a video of their 2014 visit, available here.

 

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