Assistance started in December 2016, before the news of famine hit headlines around the world. As a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, we accessed a 4:1 matching grant that allowed us to leverage your donations and distribute food to 20,381 people in and around the capital of Juba during the annual hunger gap.
On 20 February 2017, the U.N. formally declared famine in parts of South Sudan, including Unity State where World Relief (now Tearfund) had been working for more than 20 years. The famine was reported to be the largest humanitarian crisis in the U.N.’s history. In South Sudan alone half of the 11.3 million people were considered food insecure, 1.4 million of whom were children. To make things even worse violent clashes in the ongoing civil war forced many South Sudanese to flee their homes.
With help from our donors, we were quickly able to ramp up programming in Koch County and Unity’s capital of Bentiu. Assistance was aimed at children aged 6 months – 5 years of age and to pregnant & breastfeeding mothers. 44,594 people were screened for severe acute malnutrition and 43, 372 (97%) treated or counselled to get them out of danger. Those at risk of death or permanent damage were treated with the high nutrition supplements Plumpy’Nut and Plumpy’Mom. Over 1.2 million packets of Plumpy’Nut were distributed in Unity State in 2017.
As the famine intensified we also started two food voucher distribution programs in the North West area of Aweil. Food for 14,160 vulnerable people was purchased using the vouchers, which helped support the local market.
Thanks to your donations and funding from the Government of Canada, we were able to provide water, health and sanitation programs for thousands of people living in unsanitary, temporary shelters, after leaving their homes to get away from war and starvation. In these conditions, preventable disease became the biggest threat. Through this program 71,195 people had their exposure to disease reduced, including 24,605 people in 37 villages whose
wells we rehabilitated giving them access to clean drinking water.
Food distribution continues in partnership with Tearfund South Sudan and the local church. 230 tonnes worth of food vouchers will be given out in January 2018. Vouchers will go to the most vulnerable – widows, orphans, single moms with kids, the elderly and those with disabilities.
FOOD VOUCHERS SAVED ALOK’S FAMILY IN 2017
Alok Bak Deng is a mother in her mid forties living with her family in the Warawar market area. She has 5 living children, the youngest child has mental disabilities and needs constant care. Alok has no money to send her children to school, so they sell firewood at the market. Alok’s husband is a blind man in his sixties. The drought of 2017 means that the land produces almost no food and the family own no livestock. They eat only if Alok is able to sell her allotment of firewood each day. The children collect water for family’s needs in a leaky jerry can, but there is never enough water for drinking or hygiene needs. Being amongst the most needy and vulnerable, Tearfund South Sudan selected Alok’s family to receive food vouchers Alok, expresses her gratitude to you, for the help in getting through the 2017 hunger season.
“Thank you to all the people across the world who have come together to help the poor in South Sudan. We pray that the crisis we experience never happens in your countries. Our biggest hope here is for peace in our country. We hope that your gift gets paid back to you two-fold so that you can continue to help others around the world.” -ALOK BAK DENG