South Sudan gained statehood in 2011 but in December 2013, violent conflict erupted between the government and armed opposition groups and the conflict is now in its sixth year. It has resulted in massive population displacement and has caused severe disruption to livelihoods, trade and access to humanitarian assistance. Almost 2.5 million people have fled to neighbouring countries and more than 7 million people within South Sudan are in need of humanitarian assistance.
In response to further deterioration of the situation in 2018, the Scottish Government gave Tearfund a grant of £100,000 to support some of the most vulnerable people in the Greater Mundri area with food assistance to help them during the lean season. A food security needs assessment of the area revealed that 83% of the community members were food insecure (skipping meals or eating one meal a day) and inadequate intake of food had caused malnutrition, lowering resistance to disease and making the affected people highly vulnerable to diseases.
Working through local partner SEM, Tearfund has been supporting some of the most vulnerable families in the area such as people living with disabilities, families with children under 5 and female-headed and child-headed families. By providing food to these families, Tearfund has been able to decrease the need for them to turn to negative coping strategies such as skipping meals or selling assets for food. 500 families (around 4,500 people) have benefited.
Dokubu has been visually impaired since he was 33 years old. He has five grandchildren who solely depend on him and, with his impairment, he finds it challenging to fend for himself and his family. Dokubu isn't able to walk alone to carry out activities which would enable him to get both food and money.
"Before the project came to our village, I used to go to the market to beg from the shops and the roadside, but that is no longer the case. I was selected to be one of the beneficiaries since I am old and also visually impaired. From this project, me and other selected community members were given food items, cooking oil and salt. Even as we are talking now, I still have some food items remaining in my house. As well as the food assistance, I was also provided with a stick that is assisting me to move from one place to another."
"I am very thankful that I no longer go to the markets to beg, because we have food to eat, my family is able to take at least two meals in a day. My grandchildren are happy. Though I cannot see them, I can always hear them play around with a lot of joy."
"My health has improved because I rest at home and have food to eat. Also, I am happy that now I do not reply so much on my grandchildren to support me to move around.
"I am thankful to everyone who supported Tearfund to reach people like me. God bless you all."