Responding to Tragedy in South Sudan

March 7, 2014 • South Sudan

Samaritan’s Purse remains committed to providing the violence-plagued country with emergency food, water, and medical relief to help with critical needs

The widespread violence in South Sudan between the government and opposition forces that escalated to dangerously bloody levels on December 15 has subsided for now.

Help Victims of Violence in South SudanThe fragile country that teetered on the brink of civil war has settled into a tenuous ceasefire. Peace talks that had been ongoing since mid-February between the factions are scheduled to resume on March 20.

Samaritan’s Purse has been able to expand our programs, as we get closer to the level of staffing in place before the conflict started.

Recently, we sent international staff back to our outposts in Juba, Yida, and Maban, where we are caring for refugees who have fled fighting across the border in Sudan.

Small teams have also been positioned around Nimule, Minkamon, and Warrap to help meet critical needs and implement life-saving programming for tens of thousands of internally displaced people living in camps around those areas.

“Fighting could break out in various places throughout the country, but we are committed to the safety of our staff,” Samaritan’s Purse regional director Tim Windmeyer said. “We will be diligent in monitoring the security situation at all times, while giving communities the emergency aid they desperately need.”

These men and women have rejoined nearly 600 national staff members who have been maintaining services to more than 200,000 refugees who have come to rely on our food, water, medical care, and nutritional programs for survival.

With the ever-present threat of renewed violence in South Sudan, we are shifting our long-term strategy moving forward.

Samaritan's Purse is working with South Sudanese people living in camps after fleeing the violence.

Samaritan’s Purse is working with South Sudanese people living in camps after fleeing the violence.

“South Sudan is a different country now than it was just four months ago,” Windmeyer said. “We are moving our focus from improvement programming back to disaster response.”

Many of our national staff members, those who are citizens of South Sudan, are moving into leadership roles. They will be trained on how to help victims of disasters, such as war, in their own country.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of people who need our help. As a result of the conflict that began in December, more than 908,000 people have been displaced by violence, including 705,800 people within South Sudan and 202,500 into neighboring countries according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Emergency Response

Samaritan’s Purse is treating the situation as we would any other disaster. We are assessing the needs of the suffering and determining how we can help in Jesus’ Name.

One place of greatest need is Nimule, a village located south of Juba near the border with Uganda.

Families who fled the bloodshed in the village of Bor are now living in the most desperate of situations among Nimule’s host community. Finding just enough water to drink is difficult.

We have a team in the area providing clean water, latrines, and other sanitation and hygiene capabilities for more than 20,000 people.

Our clean water programs are purifying drinking water for thousands.

Our clean water programs are purifying drinking water for thousands.

So far, 150 latrines have been completed and are ready for use. Two water systems were installed along the Anyama River and water operators were trained. The two systems pump a combined total of about 30,000 liters per day of drinking water. Two additional systems are being procured and will be installed in two other sites along the river.

In Minkamon we are providing ongoing borehole assessment and repair. We have installed a water system that produces 30,000 liters of drinking water per day. And we are assessing the needs of IDPs who have settled on islands along the Nile River.

Samaritan’s Purse is working in four separate IDP camps near Warrap, each housing around 20,000 people. Our teams have drilled four boreholes, trained two water committees, and constructed 45 latrines.

We are also working in Uganda, providing relief for thousands of South Sudan refugees who have settled there.

Ongoing Refugee Response

Our teams in Yida and Maban will continue to provide food, nutrition, health, and medical services to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled the genocide they were facing in Sudan—people who are living once again in a war-torn land.

Samaritan’s Purse programming includes:
• Food—Currently we’re providing food for over 160,000 people who are living in the Yida and Doro refugee camps of South Sudan.
• Medical—Samaritan’s Purse has provided equipment for and is staffing the only surgical facility in the Doro area, and currently we’re providing care for the area with a population of more than 200,000 people.
• Water, sanitation, and hygiene—We’re providing clean water, constructing latrines and conducting health and hygiene training for the entire population of Yida.
“Now it’s a crisis on top of a crisis,” Windmeyer said. “We were already responding, and we will remain dedicated to those we are already helping. And as always, we need prayer in this difficult time.”

Samaritan’s Purse began working in Sudan in 1993, and we have had a country office in South Sudan since it declared independence just three years ago. We remain committed to maintaining our presence in this violence-plagued nation.

Stand with South Sudan Samaritan's Purse
South Sudan Relief Samaritan’s Purse is providing emergency food and clean water for people in South Sudan who have been internally displaced by an ongoing conflict within the country, and we continue to provide emergency aid to refugees who have fled violence in the Nuba Mountains and other parts of Sudan. Additional projects include drilling wells to provide clean water, distributing food to fight hunger and malnutrition, providing medical care for the sick and suffering, and working through the local church to build up communities through education and biblical literacy.

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