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Food is life in Sudan

World Vision’s goal is to help families and communities become self-sufficient. But sometimes, when a situation is unstable, interventions like food aid are life-saving interim solutions.

May 2010



A line of villagers await a food distribution from World Vision at a site in the community of Panacier in southern Sudan.
A line of villagers await a food distribution from World Vision at a site in the community of Panacier in southern Sudan.
Photo ©2010 Abraham Nhial/World Vision

During food distributions at Panacier village in southern Sudan, family representatives, mostly women, jostle in a queue to receive food. Panacier is one of several villages affected by inter-clan fighting and a dry season that has made farming difficult.

This particular food distribution will help 1,500 people: orphans, the elderly, nursing mothers, widows, and other vulnerable families who are unable to provide for themselves due to last year’s poor crop yields and persistent tribal clashes in the area.

Akuch Magok Aken, 27, is a mother of three. After standing in line, she receives her family’s monthly food ration, which includes a bag of sorghum, legumes, vegetable oil, and salt. She hoists the load on top of her head and carries it home to her short-walled hut.

A history of violence

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Akuch’s family started receiving food from World Vision in May 2009, but World Vision has been distributing food here since 2003. Inter-clan fighting has contributed to food shortages by disrupting farming activities.

The fighting started in 2006 when one of the clans rustled cattle from the other. The conflict then escalated into recurrent fighting following a series of retaliatory attacks, in which more lives were lost and property looted. During the conflict, homes and property were burnt down, and more than 100 people were reportedly killed.

Boiled leaves for breakfast

A group of women carry away bags of food from a World Vision distribution. The sign in the foreground notes that the food is supplied by the World Food Program and distributed by World VIsion.
A group of women carry away bags of food from a World Vision distribution. The sign in the foreground notes that the food is supplied by the World Food Program.
Photo ©2010 Abraham Nhial/World Vision
“There was no food,” says Akuch, “so when children cry, I would go to the forest to collect wild fruits and leaves, which I boiled to feed the children.”

But eating wild fruits came with side effects. “Sometimes the children would get diarrhea because of eating wild leaves. Life was very hard for my family,” says Akuch.

During this time, Akuch’s elder son, Ngor Majok, now 3, was malnourished. He was enrolled in World Vision’s therapeutic feeding program, where he received Plumpy’nut®, a high-nutrient paste made from peanuts, and rations of a corn soya blend until he recovered.

Praying for rain

Before the inter-clan conflict, Akuch and her husband had their own farm and grew their own food. “Food was not a problem in this family,” says Akuch. “We grew lots of simim (sesame), groundnut (peanuts), and sorghum. When the rains were good, our food could sustain us until the next planting season.”

Even though the fighting stopped last year, the weather didn’t cooperate with getting back into farming. “We did not harvest enough food last year because the rains came late, and this limited food production,” says Akuch. Additionally, the few livestock they owned have died due to droughts and diseases.

Enough food

Bags of food form large walls at the storage unit from which World Vision takes supplies for our distributions in southern Sudan.
Bags of food form large walls at the storage unit from which World Vision takes supplies for our distributions in southern Sudan.
Photo ©2010 Abraham Nhial/World Vision
“Our life has improved since we started receiving food aid. Now there is enough food in the house, and we eat three meals in a day. I owe lots of thanks to World Vision for saving my son. He is better and I hope he won’t get malnourished, because we have enough food in the house,” Akuch said.

When asked what she would do to feed her children if there was no food aid, Akuch asks a question in return: “What do you expect me to do? I am illiterate,” she says.

But the experienced farmer and mother is not without resources. She has a strong work ethic and a desire to become self-sufficient once again. “Give me seeds and tools, and I will resume crops farming when it rains,” says Akuch.

Three ways you can help


>> Pray for rain to come to southern Sudan so that families can start farming and growing their own food once again. Thank God for food distributions and feeding programs that are saving lives until families can become self-sufficient.
>> Donate now to World Vision’s Sudan Food and Care Fund. Your gift will multiply seven times in impact to help provide food, clean water, and other critical assistance for this conflict-weary part of the world.
>> Contact your members of Congress. Ask them to support the Global Food Security Act, which would help fight global hunger by investing in sustainable agriculture and nutrition programs.

Forward to a friend

Three ways you can help

Pray for rain to come to southern Sudan so that families can start farming and growing their own food once again. Thank God for food distributions and feeding programs that are saving lives until families can become self-sufficient.
- -
Donate now to World Vision’s Sudan Food and Care Fund. Your gift will multiply seven times in impact to help provide food, clean water, and other critical assistance for this conflict-weary part of the world.
- -
Contact your members of Congress. Ask them to support the Global Food Security Act, which would help fight global hunger by investing in sustainable agriculture and nutrition programs.

 





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