2017 – State of Famine
South Sudan has been hit by a serious famine, with 100,000 people affected and many more at risk. The famine is largely man-made, due to prolonged conflict between armed factions within the world’s youngest nation.
The prolonged fighting had already led to 4.9 million people without access to sufficient food. Tearfund and its partners are working to offer emergency relief alongside our longer-term work within the nation.
The Troubled Birth of a Nation
A peace deal in 2005 marked the beginning of the long road to South Sudan’s independence from the North, finally being realised in 2011, ending Africa’s longest running civil war. It was a short lived celebration, however. In December 2013, the world’s youngest nation, home to 12 million people, erupted into civil war, driven by a power struggle between the two opposing political parties. Violent clashes between different ethnic and political groups ensued. So far, 3.3 million people have fled the violence and the numbers continue to rise as the violence escalates around the country.
Livelihoods have been heavily impacted by the conflict and economic decline, livestock has been looted or killed and crops destroyed or planting suspended.
The last half of 2016 and into 2017 has seen an escalation in conflict, economic collapse - with inflation at over 800%, food prices spiking, hunger becoming more sever across the country and humanitarian access being increasingly limited.
South Sudan is among the world’s neediest places and Tearfund are committed to following Jesus where the need is greatest in this struggling infant nation.
Tearfund’s Work in South Sudan
Tearfund has been working in South Sudan since the 1970s through partners and the disaster response team has been directly involved in the country since 1998, supporting communities to tackle malnutrition, restore livelihoods and repair vital water infrastructure. The relief programme is largely based in former Jonglei state with longer term work with partners focused in Central and Western Equatoria and Northern Bahr El Ghazal states. The programme is supported by 180 national and 13 international staff, and partners with 5 local organisations. Tearfund’s current projects include Nutrition, Food Security and Water and Sanitation (WASH) provision to conflict affected communities as well community mobilisation for peace building and development through the local church and Faith Based national NGOs.