JUBA, South Sudan (February 16, 2015) — On Monday, World Vision announced that its response to the conflict in South Sudan has reached over 500,000 people with assistance since December 2013. Of the 1.5 million who have been displaced since conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, only 100,000 live inside Protection of Civilian camps (PoCs). World Vision has directed its resources to people outside these camps.
“We have focused our resources on people who have fled into small towns and villages; those who have been absorbed into existing communities,” said Perry Mansfield, World Vision’s national director in South Sudan. “In some places, local officials tell us that populations have doubled or tripled — swollen by people who have fled from the conflict. This puts a tremendous strain on people who had very little even before the crisis.”
In addition to distributing emergency supplies, aid workers are conducting a cattle vaccination program to ensure animals are disease-free, providing a safe food supply for many pastoral communities. While conducting a vacation campaign, World Vision staff encountered approximately 10,000 Arab nomads from the Falata tribe and learned that they were the first humanitarians to provide assistance in this community.
The Falata are Muslim pastoralists who roam throughout Sudan and South Sudan. World Vision is now helping to vaccinate the livestock of the Falata – some 10,000 cattle, sheep and goats. Falata’s cattle are their staple food as children drink cow’s milk and adults eat the beef. Keeping their cattle healthy is the first step in ensuring that the Falata and other pastoralists have a sustainable food supply. Once the cattle have been vaccinated, World Vision will conduct an assessment to determine the other acute needs of the group and how they can best be met.
“The environment in South Sudan is volatile and the population highly mobile,” said Mansfield. “The paradox is that the very thing that often keeps people safe (fleeing to remote areas) can also make them very difficult to assist,” he said. “Although they may find peace, there is little else. For these people, even the most basic assistance can help them rebuild their lives or fortify them against further catastrophe.”
In total, World Vision’s relief effort has aided more than 525,000 people in South Sudan, providing emergency food, seeds and fishing nets, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services. The aid organization has also distributed plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, jerry cans and other essential items. Operations are focused on life-saving activities, such as the diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition, food and seed distribution, and supplying clean water.
“Many displaced people have ‘settled,’ if you can even call it that, along the Nile, and much of our work is focused there,” said Mansfield. “Some of these people are refugees from border areas with Sudan. Others were refugees and have fled conflict once again.” Among those that World Vision has assisted is a group of 2,500 people from the Nuba Mountains who are now living near Kodok in Upper Nile. World Vision has built an emergency water system that supplies enough clean water for each person, every day.
“This is the only assistance that these people have received from humanitarian organizations,” said Mansfield.
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.
- Organization first to reach a group of nomadic people known as the Falata tribe.