These include sporadic inter-communal conflict and climate shocks, forcing communities from their homes and increasing levels of food insecurity. In addition, fierce fighting in neighbouring Sudan which started in April, has forced over 150,000 people to cross the border, swelling the population of many towns and villages in the north of South Sudan.
Earlier this year Christian Aid Scotland successfully applied for £125,000 of funding from the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund to support families in Kodok in the Upper Nile region who’ve had to flee from conflict with only the clothes on their backs.
Women, children and the elderly are those most at risk of finding themselves internally displaced, with few resources with which to buy food and essentials.
Another element of the Scottish Government funded project has been the construction of 5 latrines, after it was identified that there was a severe lack of toilet facilities (an issue compounded by the new arrivals from Sudan, putting pressure on existing infrastructure).
The project has seen the construction of toilet blocks along with a campaign to increase hygiene awareness. Having toilets ensures personal dignity and can also help reduce outbreaks of disease.
Christian Aid was able respond to this request and James Wani, Christian Aid’s Country Director for South Sudan team explains why this equipment is so valuable,
“Food insecurity continues to be the harsh reality for the people of South Sudan but in the local river there are many fish, which with the right equipment and knowledge can be caught, dried and eaten. It was the request of the local community to be supplied with fishing equipment and nets so that they can be resourceful and build resilience. Fifteen people also received training so that they can share skills within the community around handling and preserving the fish.
These are challenging times for communities living in Upper Nile. Not only were thousands of people displaced due to conflict at the end of the 2022, but the fighting in Sudan has brought new arrivals to an area where food insecurity and malnutrition are at worryingly high levels.
We are grateful to the Scottish Government for funding some of our humanitarian work, but the need remains immense.”
Importantly, the cash support has now been distributed to those most vulnerable in these hard-to-reach communities during a very difficult period, allowing them the freedom to spend the money on food and items most important to them. Find out more about our work in South Sudan.