The recurrent conflict in South Sudan that has made over four million people to flee their homes “has exacerbated an already very fragile food situation,” the officials of the Catholic agency say about the nine-year-old East-Central African nation.
Despite attaining independence from Sudan in July 2011, a milestone that offered “hope that a new and peaceful chapter could start,” officials of the humanitarian agency bemoan the fact that “the country has remained wracked with violence and hunger.”
“South Sudan is the world’s newest country but also one of the most troubled,” the leadership of Trocaire says in the March 29 report, adding, “Conflict never really disappeared from South Sudan, with disputes over resources and territory continuing to cause tensions and disputes.”
Efforts to implement the September 2018 peace deal “continue with some sporadic success, amid numerous outbreaks of fighting and brutal violence, often against civilians,” the entity’s officials say, and add, “Conflict, poverty and hunger remain the daily reality for people.”
“With so many of South Sudan’s people living below the poverty line – not to mention the worsening impacts of climate change – hunger was already a huge problem. Displacement and violence have made this worse,” they say.
COVID-19 pandemic restrictions “have devastated the already fragile economy,” Trocaire officials further say, and add in reference to the situation of South Sudanese amid the coronavirus, “Many people who live by earning a daily wage were caught unprepared, and the most vulnerable do not have enough to eat. Many do not have clean water to drink – let alone to wash their hands.”
The landlocked East-Central African nation has recorded at least 10,119 COVID-19 infections; 9,594 recoveries from the disease that has claimed 108 human lives.
In the March 29 report by the entity’s Garry Walsh, Trocaire’s leadership refers to the 132,000 batches of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that South Sudan received on March 25 as “a badly needed ray of hope for this troubled country.”
“This year, Trócaire’s Lent campaign will help to support people affected by conflict in countries like South Sudan, Syria and Myanmar. If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to our appeal. It can change lives and save lives,” Trocaire officials appeal in their March 29 report.
The support from well-wishers is expected to help Trocaire officials to reach out to people in South Sudan with emergency aid including food, water, sanitation facilities as well as humanitarian support to refugees from the country living in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).