Development and Peace – Caritas Canada has been active in the region for a number of years, with the goal of meeting humanitarian needs and finding long-term solutions to these endemic crises. Here are some of the actions we have taken alongside our partners in the last year:
Situation: A famine was declared on February 20 in Unity State where 80,000 South Sudanese are affected. There are 6.1 million people in need in South Sudan, including 1.9 million individuals displaced by war and/or drought. South Sudan is the world’s newest state, but it was created after a number of years of ethnic and religious strife involving rebel groups and Sudanese forces, struggles which continue today.
Actions: Since 2014, we have been working with Caritas South Sudan and the diocesan Caritas branches, alongside sister member-organizations of the CIDSE, including CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development) and Trócaire, as well as with the Catholic Relief Services, in order to provide help for people struggling with serious food security and nutrition problems related to drought and internal conflicts. Ethnic unrest and the presence of armed groups make it difficult to deliver aid on the ground, but the projects in place offer hope for affected populations. Since the July 2016 crisis, in partnership with the national Caritas branch, Development and Peace has been providing essential assistance to affected populations in four dioceses of the country. From July until today, in the dioceses of Wau, Yei, Torit, and Juba:
- 2,330 households have received food.
- 4,330 households have gained access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and have developed better hygiene practices.
- 1,000 households have found shelter in churches for a period of three months, giving them a little respite and security.
Situation: 8.3 million people are in need in this region, including 1.9 million displaced persons. The main needs are related to nutrition, protection, and water. The food emergency is affecting highly populated areas of Borno, Adamawa and Yobé, in the Lake Chad region. Millions of people have abandoned their homes and fields for fear of abuses by the Boko Haram terrorist group or retaliation by the Nigerian army.
Actions: We are supporting Caritas Nigeria in its efforts to improve nutrition and provide access to water, sanitation, hygiene, and healthcare for the 9,000 internally displaced persons, returnees, and members of host communities in Borno State, affected by the conflict linked to Boko Haram. The program will enable 1,500 children under five suffering from malnutrition to receive effective and timely diagnosis and treatment and will meet the health needs of 3,000 people by providing quality medical services. It will also improve access to means of subsistence and income-generating activities, as well as to water and sanitation facilities in communities greatly affected by the crisis.
Situation: More than 6 million people are in need, including 1.1 million individuals displaced by war and/or drought. Somalia in one of the most food vulnerable regions on the planet. The great droughts of 1972, 1984-1985, 1991-1992, and 2011-2012 have regularly led to starvation in this region of the world. The country has been plagued by a civil war for decades, and the current government essentially only controls the capital Mogadishu and its surroundings.
Actions: We are working with Trócaire in order to provide maternal and child healthcare in the Garbaharey region. As a result, almost 20,000 households have been monitored and have benefited from immunization programs, with a focus on pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and children under five.