Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan
CARE’s latest report finds that that real impact can be achieved by investing in health interventions at the local level and aligning support alongside local health workers to serve the needs of the South Sudanese people.
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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, food security, sanitation, healthcare, peace building and ensuring the rights and needs of women and girls.
In 2014, we provided assistance to more than 550,000 South Sudanese in the three states most affected by the conflict. With the crisis now in its second year, the Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs) at UN bases are sheltering more than 100,000 of the 1.5 million South Sudanese displaced by the conflict. Over a million South Sudanese are sheltering outside these areas, with families and host communities. Many of these communities have little or no access to humanitarian assistance; they’re either cut off by fighting, by distance/infrastructure, and/or seasonal rains and flooding.
CARE works closely with people in remote communities who have no other access to services, notably in health and nutrition in Unity state. While over 100,000 South Sudanese displaced by the conflict are currently seeking shelter at Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs) at UN bases, over 1.3 million IDPs (Internally Displaced People) are sheltering with families and host communities. Many of these communities have little or no access to humanitarian assistance; they are either cut off by fighting, by distance/infrastructure, and/or seasonal rains and flooding. CARE recently established bases in a number of counties in Unity state whose have had almost no access to health and nutrition care has been since the conflict began.
CARE has provided desperately-needed assistance to over 600,000 South Sudanese affected by the food crisis and conflict. We are providing people located in our areas of operation with fishing kits, crop kits and vegetable kits. Our Cash for Work and cash grants ensure vulnerable communities have access to food while building their resilience through asset creation and increased food production.
In addition, CARE supports 19 health facilities, many in remote communities, in Unity state. A majority of these health facilities have remained open despite the violence. Many of the facilities have been in close proximity to the fighting and in some cases are treating the wounded. CARE is committed to continuing supporting health response, increasing medical supplies and ensuring communities are aware of services in this critical time.
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.