South Sudanese “over-depend on humanitarian aid”, Bishop Bemoans, Calls for Self-Reliance

Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of South Sudan's Tombura-Yambio Diocese. Credit: RuruGene Newsletter

A Catholic Bishop in South Sudan is bemoaning the tendency of the citizens of the East-Central African to rely on humanitarian assistance.

In a Tuesday June 21 report by Ruru Gene newsletter of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY), Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala calls for initiatives toward self-reliance, including farming.

“A country like South Sudan where many citizens are employed and work mostly with international Organizations over-depend on humanitarian aid,” Bishop Hiiboro is quoted as saying.

Over-dependence on humanitarian assistance, the South Sudanese Bishop adds, “in turn affects the whole leadership of the country to be unable to control its people because the services citizens are getting are mostly from foreign support.” 

He regrets the fact that in South Sudan, “health services, education and other key cluster services are mostly supported by external donations which is likely to cripple the entire development of the country once it’s stopped.”


According to a World Bank report, South Sudan remains in a serious humanitarian crisis. Two-thirds of country’s population, 8.9 million people, are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022, an increase of 600,000 since 2021, the report further indicates.

In the June 21 report, the 58-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of CDTY since his Episcopal Ordination in June 2008 challenges the youth in the country that gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 to be critical about foreign aid.

Young people in South Sudan “need to think critically not to inherit the spirit of receiving donations which will make their mind set in expecting both humanitarian and social services to be offered by the donors,” Bishop Hiiboro says. 

The current generation must now till the fertile land of South Sudan and subdue it since it is the only way South Sudanese will liberate their minds from always saying thank you for donations which are owned by the international well-wishers whose temporary support cannot be compared to what the entire government, churches and all South Sudanese can offer by themselves to their country and to the next generation,” he further says in the June 21 report.

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.