On Saturday 9 July 2011, Sudan split in two and the new nation of South Sudan was born.
The world’s 195th state faces a difficult start. Poverty is widespread and there is little decent infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals or sanitation. One in ten children die before their first birthday and more than 80 per cent of southerners don’t have access to any kind of toilet.
Sudan has a record of unimagineable suffering with decades of conflict taking the lives of 1.5 million people.
The existing southern population faces added pressure in that many thousands of people are joining the country from the north, most of which originally hail from the south.
Tearfund has been working in the south for 40 years, primarily through partners. Watch our interview with one of our partners, the Diocese of Kajo Keji, to learn more about the role of the local church in South Sudan.
Tearfund works with seven organisations which are bringing material and spiritual transformation through HIV care and prevention, education, mobilising communities to develop themselves, providing water and sanitation and peace, justice and reconciliation work.
In addition, Tearfund teams are operational in South Sudan. The programme targets remote and neglected areas affected by conflict and works with the Dinka, Chollo and Nuer tribes; including people returning from the north, internally displaced people and the host population.
Household food security, nutrition, community health education, water and sanitation and primary health care are among activities undertaken by the team in partnership with communities.
Click here for a gallery of images on The Guardian website from South Sudan taken by Tearfund photographer Layton Thompson.