The world’s newest country reaches its eighth anniversary of independence today (9 July). But for South Sudan it’s again not the happiest of birthdays. Conflict, hunger and a refugee crisis have brought the nation to its knees.
Across the country, 60 per cent of the population are dependent on food aid, 1.8 million have been displaced internally and a further 2.3 million have been forced to flee across borders. Parts of the country are on the brink of famine.
A peace deal was signed in September 2018 by two of the main rival leaders, but pockets of conflict persist. The formation of a new, united government has been delayed until November.
‘Despite difficulties to reach peace and stability, we want to be hopeful for this nation,’ says Martin Ruppenthal, head of Tearfund’s work in South Sudan. ‘We will continue to pray for change and support people in South Sudan to survive and rebuild their country.’
Tearfund staff and partners are distributing cash and vouchers to enable the most vulnerable people, including single women led households, the elderly and people with disabilities, to buy food. They are also providing high energy food supplements for malnourished children, as well as sharing knowledge on good hygiene and helping people access safe drinking water.
Families are also being given seeds and tools to grow sorghum, legumes and vegetables, so that they can harvest crops in the months to come.
- Pray for the people of South Sudan, especially those who have fled their homes and are struggling to survive.
- Pray for lasting peace in the country, and that weapons of war will be replaced with arms to embrace one another.
- After peace, the biggest need in South Sudan is food. Pray for our staff and partners as they distribute vital provisions among those who need help the most.