As South Sudan takes its place as an independent country, Samaritan’s Purse will continue to share God’s love in both the north and south
The world’s newest nation was born on the morning of July 9, when the Republic of South Sudan officially became an independent country.
Independence Day came six years after the signing of a peace agreement that ended two decades of civil war between the Arab-dominated north and the predominantly African and Christian people of the south, a war that cost more than 2 million lives.
The new nation will face many challenges, including a struggling economy and a lack of basic healthcare, education, and infrastructure. There are also outstanding issues yet to be resolved between the north and south, including the final status of the volatile Abyei region, sharing of oil revenues, and security along the long border between them.
Samaritan’s Purse will continue to be there to help meet physical and spiritual needs in Sudan and South Sudan. Our projects are designed to demonstrate God’s love to the people of both nations and to open doors to present the Gospel message.
We began working in Sudan in 1993, after Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham visited the country to assess the growing conflict and the plight of the people. Medical teams and supplies were sent in to help the suffering.
We returned in 1997 to begin providing food, shelter, and clean water, and to open a hospital that provided medical aid to thousands. Our programs quickly expanded to include agricultural assistance, education, and vocational training.
Emergency food was distributed to more than 200,000 people in war-ravaged regions of Darfur. We built more than 140 primary schools in villages that were overwhelmed with refugees, and provided clean water and sanitation for over 100,000 people.
In 2005, we launched a project to rebuild churches destroyed during the war.
In the Nuba Mountains, 140 churches and a Bible school were constructed. In South Sudan, we have built 300 churches, distributed more than 260,000 Bibles, and trained 10,600 people from local churches to become community Bible study leaders. Our church rebuilding program continues in the south.
Our ongoing work also includes giving household items to South Sudan citizens returning from the north. We are drilling wells in many communities where we have built churches, providing a source of safe, clean water. We are distributing food and farm supplies, giving people the means to care for their families.
Samaritan’s Purse helps support a 100-bed secondary health care facility that provides life-saving medical care to more than 220,000 people. In eastern Sudan, our projects include nutrition, water and sanitation, hygiene, education, and healthcare.
On July 9, Franklin Graham was among the dignitaries attending an invitation-only Independence Day ceremony in Juba, the new capital of South Sudan.
“As I look back over the years that Samaritan’s Purse has been providing relief and aid across a war-torn Sudan, it now brings me great joy and honor to attend the celebration of South Sudan’s Independence Day,” Graham said. “There is still much that needs to be done to help the people of both countries. I pray that God will give these leaders wisdom and courage to lead their people, uniting their hearts toward the goal of reconciliation and peace.”