SOUTH SUDAN 600 000 and Counting

CARE reaches 600,000 people in conflict-affected South Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan, 10 March 2015 - Humanitarian organization CARE has reached more than 600,000 South Sudanese affected by the conflict that began in the world’s newest nation in December 2013.

Working across South Sudan’s three hardest-hit States of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei, CARE is providing emergency water, sanitation, hygiene services and education, in addition to nutrition and livelihoods assistance. CARE also supports over 40 health facilities in Unity and Upper Nile States.

Fifteen months into the conflict, the humanitarian needs resulting from the conflict are reaching catastrophic levels. The UN estimates that 1.5 million people are currently displaced, more than 800,000 of whom are children under 18 years of age. Over 100,000 of the displaced are currently seeking shelter with the UN, more than 500,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries.

 “When fighting erupted, we started with the basics – mattresses and beds for people to sleep on, mosquito nets, food items like milk, maize flour, rice and sugar, and utensils for cooking,” said Mr. Alex Anyik, CARE’s Senior Procurement Officer in Juba. “This was what people needed, and this is what we worked night and day to get to them. In many places our offices were looted, so we had to start again from scratch.”

“600,000 isn’t just a figure,” said Ms. Aimee Ansari, CARE’s Country Director in South Sudan. “It’s 600,000 women, men and children whose lives have been severely disrupted by this conflict.”

“We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved but so much more needs to be done. The recent food security figures are alarming. 2.5 million South Sudanese are living in severe hunger, the country is now more vulnerable to food crisis than ever before. With the wet season approaching, so much depends on what we’re able to achieve in the coming months,” added Ms. Ansari.

CARE is increasingly turning its focus to remote communities. While much of the humanitarian response has been centred around Protection of Civilian sites, currently housing around 100,000 people, the majority of South Sudanese affected by the conflict live in areas cut off by fighting, seasonal flooding or poor infrastructure.

In Unity state, CARE teams travel on foot to vaccinate children against polio and measles, and deliver life saving drugs and nutrition supplies. In Jonglei, CARE provides seeds and tools to communities hosting South Sudanese who have fled from fighting.

“With CARE’s help, we planted small plots of vegetables close to our houses,” said Mrs. Deng Reath, of Uror County in Jonglei state. “We’re now using those vegetables for all our meals.”

CARE has been operating in Southern Sudan since 1993, initially providing humanitarian relief to internally displaced people in Western Equatoria. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 allowed CARE to expand into Jonglei and Upper Nile States to support returnees from the refugee camps, and the organization has since broadened its operations to include development programs.

Media Contact: Sally Cooper, CARE South Sudan Communications and Advocacy Manager, [email protected]

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. 

Read more about CARE's work in South Sudan