WASHINGTON D.C., January 26, 2011—
Following the peaceful close to voting in the referendum on South Sudan’s
self-determination last week, World Vision
calls upon the international community to maintain a high level of attention on Sudan.
“It would be a big risk to disband preparedness based on a peaceful voting process,” said Edwin Asante, World Vision’s program director in South Sudan.
“There is much yet to be seen, including the announcement of the results, the referendum in Abyei and whatever the outcomes of these processes may mean to the North and South," added Asante.
Mr. Asante’s comments come at a time when key observers including politicians, celebrities, church leaders and international media have started leaving the country after witnessing a peaceful week of voting.
The South Sudan Referendum Commission announced that the ballot-casting process at home and abroad proceeded smoothly, and the results are being tallied by election officials.
Mr. Asante advises that there is need to maintain the capacity to respond to potential emergencies over the next year.World Vision
is responding to the needs of the swelling numbers of Sudanese people returning from the North to resettle and start anew in the South. With more than 189,000 returnees straining resources at transit points and a lack of ready settling places for their families, there is a need for relief aid to start them off, according to World Vision staff on the ground.
“Such mass movements of people require planning for resettlement, integration, and livelihoods, as well as for social and health needs,” Asante said.
World Vision has been working in Southern Sudan since 1989, helping those affected by conflict or natural disasters. Programs also assist children and communities with access to health care, clean water and sanitation, food assistance, agriculture promotion and support for local peace building initiatives. In addition, from its offices around the world, World Vision brings the situation of Sudan
to the attention of the international community, urging governments to work towards lasting peace and development in Sudan.FAST FACTS on South Sudan
Sources: UNDP and Southern Sudan Commission for Census, Statistics and Evaluation NOTES TO EDITOR:
- South Sudan’s total population is 8.26 million
- More than half live below the poverty line of less than $1 (US) per day
- One out of four adults is literate
- 72% of the population is below the age of 30
- 83% of the population is rural; most depend on crops or animal husbandry as main income
World Vision aid workers and experts are on the ground in South Sudan and responding to the influx of returnees to the region in Warrap State, in Malakal covering the Upper Nile region, and in Juba.World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org