Interview with CARE staffer
Over 1.5 million people have been displaced and 4.9 million people are affected and in need of help following the political violence that began in December 2013 in South Sudan. More than one in seven people here in South Sudan are starving or facing severe malnutrition. Aimee Ansari, Country Director for CARE South Sudan, says: "the threat of severe hunger still looms large here in South Sudan. If current trends continue, around 2.5 million people will be living in severe hunger by early 2015.” Without a swift, international response, the situation will deteriorate even further.
Read more in our factsheet of the crisis. Take a look at our gender snapshot to find out more about the situation for women and girls in South Sudan.
CARE needs your help to get relief to people who have fled political violence in South Sudan. Over 1.4 million people have been displaced inside the country, tens of thousands have lost their lives, around 452,900 are refugees, and thousands have been wounded since conflict began on December 15.
“There still are over 1.4 million people displaced across the country. Many are exhausted, traumatized and have had little food or water. Many are still too afraid to go home, and given the scale of the destruction, may have no home to return to,” said Aimee Ansari, Country Director for CARE in South Sudan.
Around 452,900 South Sudanese have fled into neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan. The vast majority of refugees are women and children.
Immediate needs are: food, shelter, water and sanitation infrastructure, medical services, cooking and household supplies. Women and girls are especially at risk outside the protection of their homes and cut off from traditional support systems. The rainy season began in April, and heavy rains and flooding increase the risks of disease, food shortages, and preventing access to certain areas in need.
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CARE is assessing the humanitarian and security situation and is responding, helping families in desperate need.
CARE supports over 50 health facilities and the majority have remained open despite the recent fighting, providing live-saving medical services in some of the worst affected areas of the country. CARE is working to restock medical supplies and provide other support to these facilities. In addition, CARE is running health and nutrition programs as well as water and sanitation operations to reach families in urgent need of help. CARE is also providing assistance with Sexual and Reproductive Health and working on preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. CARE is scaling up the response in other areas, but security risks remain an important obstacle. In total, we have been providing food, water and health care to 300,000 displaced people and host communities affected by the conflict in South Sudan.
In Uganda, CARE is responding in the Western Nile region to help some of the more than 126,000 South Sudanese refugees who have taken refuge there. Refugees are in desperate need of access to clean water and sanitation facilities, hygiene kits, shelter, food, cooking pots, and household supplies. Women and girls, who are the majority, are especially vulnerable and at risk. CARE is providing shelter and latrine construction for the most vulnerable families. CARE is also undertaking sanitation (emergency latrines, solid waste management), hygiene promotion (public health campaigns, community mobilisation, children’s health clubs) and sexual and gender-based violence support for the entire community living across four clusters (supporting approximately 6,000 women, men, girls and boys in total). CARE has completed a technical review of all water resources to share with all partners and encourage a comprehensive response.
Among the displaced and refugees, women and girls are particularly at risk. The vast majority of internally displaced people and refugees are women and children. Many women have had to flee with their children as their husbands stayed behind, rendering them vulnerable outside the protection of their families and homes. Staff in CARE-supported health facilities have reported a drop in the number of women accessing reproductive health services. Pregnant women need essential medical care and the recent situation – lack of access to basic reproductive health services and the closure or destruction of health care facilities due to violence – has put their and their babies’ lives at risk. Read our latest report "The Girl Has No Rights": Gender-Based Violence in South Sudan.
Click here to read more about CARE's response in South Sudan.
CARE is supporting 50 healthcare facilities and providing other life-saving assistance in the worst affected parts of the country, and 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. 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.