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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Life in South Sudan: commitment through hardship

When South Sudan attained independence from Sudan in 2011, citizens of the world’s youngest country embraced the promise of a better future.

Unfortunately, the promise didn’t come true. Rival parties began been combating each other for power and resources. Since then, millions of people have been displaced or forced to flee to neighbouring countries.

In many parts of South Sudan, the civilian population suffers from famine. Fields have been destroyed by conflict or drought, and many people have fled to more secure, but overpopulated, less fertile regions. The ongoing insecurity within the country makes it impossible for farmers to plant or harvest crops for food. The resulting food shortages cause the price of groceries to increase dramatically and rampant inflation continues to devalue the country’s currency. Even for people with jobs, devaluation means that money does not last long as it loses value very quickly.

Flight to other regions or neighbouring countries is often the only option. But these hosted refugees and displaced people put enormous pressure on water resources, health care systems, and food security in the host communities.

HOPE International Development Agency has been working with local partners in South Sudan to bring relief to displaced people and the communities hosting them.

Ezo, a town in the south-west of South Sudan, hosts many displaced people. HOPE is helping displaced families in Ezo by providing emergency food and hygiene products to prevent a food crisis and the spread of disease.

For families fortunate enough to maintain some sense of normalcy in their lives, HOPE is helping them ensure their children can attend primary school and a newly established secondary school in the area. Families are also gaining access to a nearby source of clean water, through well drilling.

The situation in South Sudan is severe, but through it all, HOPE remains committed to families who are displaced and those who are holding on.