Helping Victims of Conflict in South Sudan

Samaritan’s Purse is sending staff members back into the violence-plagued country to help with critical needs and provide life-saving relief.

In early February, nearly 65,000 South Sudanese refugees fled to Uganda.

Seth Williamson is the Samaritan’s Purse Refugee Food Assistance Programme Manager in Uganda and reports from a refugee settlement for people from South Sudan.

Read about the current situation in Uganda.

Rebel groups armed with machine guns and heavy artillery continue to roam the countryside in South Sudan, but widespread fighting between the government and opposition forces has subsided. For now, this fragile nation is in the grips of a tenuous ceasefire.

Samaritan’s Purse has determined that the threat of violence has decreased enough to send around two dozen international staff back to our outposts in Juba, Yida, and Maban. They will focus on meeting critical needs and implementing life-saving programming.
“Fighting could break out in various places throughout the country, but we are committed to the safety of our staff,” Samaritan’s Purse regional director Tim Windmeyer said. “We will be diligent in monitoring the security situation at all times while giving the communities desperately needed emergency aid.”

More than 740,000 people have been displaced by the conflict

These men and women rejoin the 600 national staff members that have been maintaining services to more than 200,000 men, women, and children who have come to rely on our food, water, medical care, and nutritional programs for survival.

With the world’s newest nation teetering on the brink of civil war, we are shifting our long-term strategy moving forward. “South Sudan is a different country now than it was just six weeks ago,” Windmeyer said. “We are moving our focus from improvement programming back to disaster response.”

Many of our national staff, those who are citizens of South Sudan, are moving into leadership roles. They will be trained on how to help victims of disasters, such as war, in their own country.
The fighting has forced many families from their homes

The Need

There is no shortage of people who need our help, and Samaritan’s Purse is treating the situation as we would any other disaster, assessing the needs of those who are suffering and determining how we can help in Jesus’ Name.

In early February, nearly 65,000 South Sudanese refugees, mostly women and children, arrived in Uganda. The large population waiting at one particular refugee centre speak of the huge need for shelter. In addition, recent rain has raised the alarm among aid workers that the rainy season could be coming soon, making the need for shelter even more urgent. Working through our team on the ground at SP Uganda, Samaritan’s Purse UK is providing shelter kits, including construction materials and poles, to 1,000 refugees in Kiryandongo. 
Samaritan's Purse is operating feeding programs for refugees who fled fighting in Sudan as well as people displaced by the conflict within South Sudan

Homeless in their Own Country

As a result of the conflict that began on 15 December, at least 740,000 have been internally displaced according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Families who fled the bloodshed in one village are now living in the most desperate of situations among the host community of Nimulei, located near the border with Uganda. Just finding enough water to drink is difficult. We have a team in the area providing clean water, latrines, and other sanitation and hygiene capabilities for more than 20,000 people.

Our teams in Yida and Maban will continue to provide food, nutrition, health, and medical services to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled the genocide they were facing in Sudan—people who once again find themselves in a war-torn land.

“Now it’s a crisis on top of a crisis,” Windmeyer said. “We were already responding, and we remain dedicated to those we are already helping. And as always, we need prayer in this difficult time.”

Samaritan’s Purse began working in Sudan in 1993, and have had a country office in South Sudan since it declared independence just three years ago. We remain committed to maintaining our presence in this violence-plagued nation.

Please pray for peace - Christians in the violence-plagued country are asking their brothers and sisters around the world to join them in asking God to heal their land.
Meeting critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease and natural disaster while sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

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Samaritan's Purse International is a registered charity within England and Wales (1001349) and in Scotland (SC039251) and an incorporated company registered by guarantee in England and Wales (2462257).
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