Emergency Relief Arrives to Help the Starving in Sudan

April 23, 2024 • Sudan

Samaritan’s Purse is delivering life-saving food to many thousands in this war-torn African nation. More are still terribly hungry.

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Samaritan’s Purse has recently trucked in 157 metric tons of food for starving people in Kordofan, Sudan. The baskets of food, part of an emergency relief initiative, are going to families in overflowing displacement camps scattered across the remote region. So far, the shipments have been delivered to 19,000 men, women, and children in desperate need, with additional convoys on the way.

There are over 600,000 people who have sought refuge in the region after fleeing the violent conflict that has engulfed Sudan over the past year.

  • Samaritan's Purse is delivering food to thousands of hungry people in Sudan.
    Samaritan's Purse is delivering food to thousands of hungry people in Sudan.

In Kordofan, which is in southern Sudan, a failed sorghum crop and now the sudden swell in population have worsened the area’s already dire food crisis. As tens of thousands confront starvation, many rummage the ground and barren trees for seeds, weeds, and leaves to consume. Children are among the most vulnerable and face severe malnutrition.

The special convoys of relief sent by Samaritan’s Purse over the past several weeks are in addition to the general food aid that we have already been distributing among the native population.

This mother received a special nutrient-packed paste for her malnourished child. Twenty-three children have died in the camps over the past month.

This mother received a special nutrient-packed paste for her malnourished child. Twenty-three children have died in the camps over the past month.

Forced to Flee

Pain fills Amira’s* eyes. The mother spends her days agonizing over one thought: are my kids alive? Just two months ago, she escaped her hometown in southern Sudan after armed forces overran the streets, raping women caught outside, and killing men indiscriminately. When she fled, however, three of her seven children were across town at her sister’s house.

Confronted with a decision no mother should have to face, Amira took hold of her four children at home and fled into the wilderness. For two days, Amira and her children traversed the rugged landscape in search of refuge and safety.

“I don’t sleep. Every moment I am thinking about my kids and if they are alive,” Amira said. She has had no contact with her sister or with her husband, who was swept up into the conflict.

Amira had to flee, leaving some of her seven children behind. She is now in a camp with four of her children and her mother, who is blind.

Amira had to flee, leaving some of her seven children behind. She is now in a camp with four of her children and her mother, who is blind.

Amira now lives with four of her children in a displacement camp in Kordofan. They have little food, no land, and seemingly no hope.

Food Brings Hope

In the desperation, there are glimmers of hope for Amira and many like her. She is one of the many internally displaced people who has been given food through Samaritan’s Purse since our emergency food initiative began. Families are receiving a basket of corn, beans, salt, and oil to sustain them for a month. Severely malnourished children can also receive special nutrient-dense peanut paste.

“I was surprised that you came here with food,” Amira said of our work. “I was very happy and overjoyed.”

Beyond critical food assistance, Amira and her family can also benefit from various Samaritan’s Purse projects in her camp. These outreaches include a clinic with a wide variety of medicines, sanitation and hygiene trainings, and spiritual support from our ministry teams.

  • In addition to our food aid, Samaritan’s Purse is providing many programs to improve the living conditions in these camps—including a pharmacy.
    In addition to our food aid, Samaritan’s Purse is providing many programs to improve the living conditions in these camps—including a pharmacy.

“This is life-saving food,” said Nkosana Lawrence Sengwayo, a technical advisor for food assistance with Samaritan’s Purse. He continued: “People couldn’t access their normal farming area because of the war. If they could, they were only able to harvest roughly two months’ worth of food stock after the famine. … Imagine having no food for 10 months.”

The Needs Are Overwhelming

As conflict continues across Sudan, droves of people arrive at camps every day hungry and sick. The need is great, and time is of the essence. Samaritan’s Purse will keep sending in large convoys of trucks with food relief until the rainy season hits and the dirt roads flood. By the end of May it is expected that all of Kordofan will be too swampy for vehicle traffic.

Life is difficult in the camps, which continue to receive displaced families every day.

Life is difficult in the camps, which continue to receive displaced families every day.

The conditions of the camps are declining as more people arrive as well. Open defecation can lead to the spread of waterborne illnesses, especially when the rain hits. Samaritan’s Purse is combatting this issue by installing pit latrines and drilling wells.

“They have no place to go and nobody to help them but Samaritan’s Purse is helping.”

“I cannot describe the work Samaritan’s Purse has done in my area,” said a community leader at one of our food distributions. “These people are escaping the fighting. They have no place to go and nobody to help them but Samaritan’s Purse is helping.

“However, there are still so many of my people without food,” he added.

Food is scarce in the camp and families are eating the leaves from the trees

Food is scarce in the camp and families are eating the leaves from the trees.

Amira sees the food brought in by Samaritan’s Purse as a reminder that God has not forgotten her.

“I believe that everything that happened was God’s will,” Amira said, a strong Christian among a Muslim majority. “The Bible says that there will be war, hunger, and suffering, but we can find strength in God.”

  • A little boy smiles as he brings home a food basket.
    A little boy smiles as he brings home a food basket.

Amira asks for our prayers. Pray for peace in Sudan and for those facing starvation because of this crisis. Pray that Amira will one day be reunited with her kids.

*Name changed for security.

SUPPORT
God has positioned Samaritan’s Purse to feed hundreds of thousands of people in Africa or elsewhere who are on the brink of starvation because of drought or war. For $35 per family, we can deliver a month’s supply of sorghum, lentils, or other staples in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Feed A Family God has positioned Samaritan’s Purse to feed hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and other continents who are on the brink of starvation. We can deliver a month’s supply or more of corn, sorghum, lentils, or other staples in the Name of Jesus Christ.

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