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South Sudan: food crisis escalates

More than 1.5 million people have been displaced by conflict in South Sudan, amid a worsening food crisis. More than 3.8 million are in need of urgent assistance, including those who have fled to neighbouring countries. Concern Worldwide is responding. You can help.

 

Severely malnourished 2-year-old, Atem Akol, waits for treatment at the Gok Machar Primary Health Care Centre, Gok Machar, South Sudan with his mother Adut Ariath.

Missed planting 

The majority of South Sudanese rely on farming for their survival. However, the ongoing civil war has kept them from cultivating land and planting crops. Generally, crops are planted between March and May – but already the rains have come and it is too late to make up for lost time. 

Consequences

Due to the conflict and missed planting, the deteriorating food crisis will be widespread across the country, affecting millions. Without available food, prices will soar and markets will become increasingly volatile, causing increased tension and widespread hunger.

Working across South Sudan

Concern Worldwide is responding to the emergency in Unity State where 265,500 people have been displaced and in Central Equatoria where 63,000 people have been displaced.  We are also continuing our health, nutrition and livelihoods programmes in Northern Bahr el Ghazal.  

Challenges

Frequent heavy rainfall has made conditions unbearable for those living in over-crowded settlements. More than 3,000 cases of cholera have been reported, including 70 deaths. An outbreak of this magnitude requires immediate action to prevent further loss of life. Weak government structures, poor infrastructure, ongoing conflict and the rains are further hampering the emergency response. Watch Concern Worldwide's Rose Caldwell speak about the challenges facing those in South Sudan.

Our work in South Sudan

Our emergency programme in Unity State is providing the following:
  • Safe water: Concern is providing access to safe water for nearly 35,000 people through the management of three boreholes
  • Sanitation and Hygiene: Major cholera prevention campaigns are being conducted to stem the spread of the disease. Trained sprayers are focusing on latrines, defecation areas, trenches and other areas with a high concentration chlorine solution to avoid further contamination
  • Shelter and essential Items: Concern is reinforcing shelters and pathways to reduce the impact of the rains on people’s lives. We are also distributing essential items such as blankets, cutlery, water purification tablets and jerry cans to families who have lost everything
  • Our nutrition response is targeting malnourished children under five and pregnant women who are most at risk 
 
In Juba, Central Equatoria we are conducting the following:
  • Food distributions for 27,000 people are being carried out on a monthly basis
  • Distributions of essential items such as blankets, cutlery, water purification tablets and jerry cans 
  • Nutrition assistance for malnourished children under five and pregnant women 
  • Shelter and Non-Food Items: reinforcing shelters and pathways to reduce the impact of the rains on people’s lives
 

In depth