PAGAK, South Sudan – Nyakoang Rieka set out from her village in the afternoon.
Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan
LS: South Sudan Box 1
"The situation in Bentiu can only be described as disaster"
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LS: South Sudan Box 2
New Report Warns of Worsening Humanitarian Crisis in South
LS: South Sudan Box 3
South Sudan: Women are Raped as Punishment
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LS: South Sudan Box 4
4 MILLION PEOPLE IN SOUTH SUDAN FACE FOOD INSECURITY
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About the Crisis in South Sudan
For a very long time, Sudan has been a country in turmoil. In 1983, after a decade-long pause in the country's long civil war between the north and south, conflict broke out again. It wasn't until early 2005 - after more than 1.5 million people had died - that a peace agreement was signed between the two sides.
The agreement led to the historic vote that created the Republic of South Sudan on July 9, 2011.
From the start, South Sudan was one poorest countries in the world. Most of the fledgling nation is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis fueled by years of chronic underdevelopment, conflict and natural disasters. The impact on the population is devastating:
- One in seven women die in childbirth
- Eighty-four percent of women are illiterate
- Half the population has no access to improved sources of drinking water
- One in nine children will not live to see their fifth birthday
- Only one-third of the population has ever attended school
Today, violence continues to force people to flee their homes, especially near the northern border, where territories remain disputed despite the peace agreement with Sudan. A total of 1.5 million South Sudanese have been displaced since the beginning of the crisis, with 400,000 of these fleeing to neighboring Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda. The rest are internally displaced persons - of whom more than half are children younger than 18.
In addition, as many as 4 million people in South Sudan (nearly one third of the population) face food insecurity, in part because of the large influx of people into South Sudan - both returnees and refugees from the north. These factors have forced hundreds of thousands of people into camps, where they live as internally displaced persons. A new report warns that as many as 7 million people are at risk if situations do not improve.
As of July 9, 3,152 cases of cholera have been recorded. 70 of them were fatal.
What CARE is doing
CARE has been working in the region since 1993, providing health services, improving access to clean water and sanitation, mitigating the effects of droughts and helping with peace-building efforts.
With the secession of South Sudan, many people who fled their homeland during the conflict have since returned. However, many of these people have no homes or livelihoods to return to. CARE is helping these families with shelter, water, sanitation and healthcare.
“CARE is supporting 50 healthcare facilities and providing other life-saving assistance in the worst affected parts of the country. We are working as hard as we can to overcome tremendous logistical challenges posed by ongoing violence and widespread destruction so that we can get even more aid in place before the rains start at the end of April,” says Country Director Aimee Ansari. “We know that people’s livelihoods have been severely affected and if we don’t get tools and more medicines in place in time, the nightmare endured by South Sudanese families over the past few months will be only the beginning."
To date, CARE has reached over 120,000 people, ensuring access to health and nutrition services, water and sanitation, and working to prevent incidences of sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, we are providing sexual and reproductive health services to women and girls. CARE is concentrating its efforts to scale up its programmes in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states, meeting pressing needs there to the degree that the security situation permits.
How CARE works in emergencies
RESPONDING TODAY, PREPARING FOR TOMORROW
In 2011 alone, CARE reached 12 million people affected by natural disasters, conflict situations and other crises.