On July 7, violent conflict broke out in South Sudan's capital forcing an estimated 42,000 people to flee. The majority of those displaced have sought safety and refuge at UN bases established to protect civilians, churches, and safer neighbourhoods in the city.
World Vision staff on the ground report the situation remains tense, but the halt of fighting has allowed for the mobilization of emergency response efforts. Fleeing with no food or supplies means that families affected by the recent outbreak of violence are extremely vulnerable to hunger.
World Vision is focusing its emergency relief on:
- Distribution of emergency food
- Emergency nutrition including monitoring nutrition levels of young children and pregnant women
- Provision of basic essential supplies to families
- Emergency shelter
- Services to protect children, and provide them with psychological first aid and support
- Provision of clean drinking water and sanitation, as necessary.
Before the fighting resumed an estimated 4.8 million (more than a third of the population) were likely to face food shortages in the coming months, the highest level of hunger since the conflict first started two-and-a-half-years ago. Over 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes since the onset of the civil war in 2013, or 1 in every 5 people – half of these children. Renewed fighting has challenged the tenuous peace agreement reached in August 2015, and served only to further deteriorate the humanitarian situation in South Sudan.
Jeremiah Young, Advocacy and Peacebuilding Advisor, World Vision South Sudan
"This situation is still calm, but very tense. However, people are starving. There is hardly any food in the market, and that will likely be the case for some time. What food is available, many can't afford. As a result, individuals have been resorting to coping mechanisms like looting in order to provide for their children and families, which is very sad to see. We know these people don't want to resort to tactics like that. This is why it is imperative that we get out and provide the lifesaving services we know will be in demand."
Michael Messenger, President of World Vision Canada:
"When I visited South Sudan in November 2015 I was shocked to see how many children were living on the margins then, a number that has escalated in the past week. The recent conflict is a heavy setback for a country that is already reeling from overwhelming food insecurity. We need to be at the forefront for the children of South Sudan who are most impacted by this crisis."
Photos of World Vision's emergency response in South Sudan available upon request
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Donate to World Vision's Raw Hope initiative
. Help support the response to children and families affected by conflict in South Sudan, and others living in some of the world's most dangerous places.
Image with caption
: "World Vision mobilizes their emergency response in Juba, South Sudan".