South Sudan needs us today
UnitingWorld has launched the South Sudan appeal to provide immediate and long term support for the people of South Sudan, where seven million face starvation due to conflict, pandemic lockdowns and natural disasters.
According to the Uniting Chruch aid and development agency, “COVID-19 could not have come at a worse time for South Sudan. Hot on the heels of a devastating drought, a locust plague has destroyed crops leaving thousands hungry. Tribal conflict between groups desperate for access to land and livestock for food had already killed hundreds of people and left women and children the targets of rape and kidnapping. Now border closures and lockdowns mean supplies can’t get into the country from neighbouring Kenya or Ethiopia. July, August and September are South Sudan’s ‘lean season’ and the situation is expected to get worse over the coming months.”
Money raised will be used to support the work of their partner, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS). At the moment, they are providing food packs for people in lockdown and refugee camps and distributing masks, soap, water, hand sanitiser and information about preventing the spread of disease.
The money will also be invested in safeguarding the longterm peace work of PCOSS: peacebuilding workshops in areas destroyed by conflict, provide counselling for those traumatised by war, teach negotiation skills, work to keep women and girls safe from violence and bring tribes together to plan for the future. Workshops are currently not being held, but they will resume as soon as it is safe.
Some staff of the PCOSS live without adequate access to food, clean water or electricity in Juba and are isolated from their families.
Rev. John, from UnitingWorld’s partner the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, previously recovering from malaria, is in very poor health and requires ongoing treatment for stabilisation. He has asked all of us to pray for them. He wrote:
“Brothers and sisters in Christ, thank you so much for your love and prayers. My heart is breaking. Everywhere the news is bad, but we keep working for our people so they will be freed from hunger and the fear of disease. We are desperate to return to our critical peacemaking work as soon as possible – our future depends on it. Please pray for us:
- For families who have fled their homes and are living in refugee camps here in South Sudan and across the border in Kenya and Ethiopia. They have no education for their children and at the moment there is very little food
- For women and girls in camps who must walk a long way for water and risk kidnapping, rape and violence from tribal groups
- For our staff, who want to return to our peacemaking work, but who are struggling both with the immediate need to share health messaging among those without access to media and with the personal economic impact of the lockdown. Our team is at risk not only from COVID-19, but we live without reliable food, water or electricity in our homes and place of work.
To donate and find out more about the current situation and projects go to UnitingWorld website.