People Helped in 2014: 447,217
Action Against Hunger has been in what is now South Sudan for thirty years, responding to high malnutrition rates, lack of access to clean water, and chronic food insecurity. After claiming independence in 2011, the Republic of South Sudan faces both emergency situations and long-term development challenges. Globally, South Sudan has the highest proportion of its population – 66 percent – affected by the ongoing crisis. Our presence in South Sudan today is more important than ever.
The unstable political situation greatly contributes to South Sudan’s dire humanitarian situation. Ongoing tensions between Sudan and South Sudan and internal violence has substantially increased the number of refugees and internally displaced people in the country. Over 1.9 million people have fled their homes and six million people do not have enough to eat. With extremely limited means to provide for themselves, displaced people suffer from high rates of malnutrition and food insecurity. Resources are scarce because natural disasters, seasonal changes, and the closure of the border with Sudan led to high food prices and recurring food shortages.
Throughout the ongoing crisis, Action Against Hunger’s multi-sectoral and nutrition-sensitive programs continue to be at the forefront of the response. Our surveillance emergency team travels to some of the most remote areas of South Sudan to collect nutrition data, which helps to determine where children have the highest rates of malnutrition and is vital to the international community’s response to the food crisis in South Sudan. In close collaboration with our surveillance team, our multi-sectoral emergency team works to save the lives of severely malnourished children and builds the capacity of local partners. The team sets up outpatient therapeutic programs in the most critical areas, where they diagnose, treat, and prevent malnutrition in young children. When there was a cholera outbreak in the capital city of Juba, with more than 100 new cases per week at its peak, our cholera response team immediately began disinfecting affected households, rehabilitating water infrastructure in cholera-affected areas, holding mass cholera awareness sessions, and building the capacity of local authorities and community-based organizations to respond to the outbreak. Once the outbreak subsides, our cholera team focuses on prevention as well as providing people with clean water through water points, building hundreds of latrines, and training communities to develop good hygiene practices.
Providing sustainable solutions to hunger
Hunger and undernutrition are persistent problems, so our biggest priority in South Sudan is focused on nutrition and health treatment. In 2014, over 25,000 malnourished people received lifesaving nutrition treatment, and we reached 447,217 people in South Sudan with our programs in nutrition, food security, and water, sanitation and hygiene. While South Sudan’s nutritional challenges are daunting, we are collaborating with international partners and the national Ministry of Health to create sustainable solutions to hunger.