In December, the mass displacement of 770,000 people in South Sudan escalated an ongoing struggle in an extremely vulnerable country into a severe humanitarian crisis. Twic county, in Warrap state, experienced a massive influx of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from neighbouring Unity State as a result of the clashes. Action Against Hunger has been focusing our response in the numerous IDP camps here, including the two largest, Man Awan and Man Anguei, where the total number of IDPs is currently estimated to be more than 17,000.
Here are some insights from those living through the crisis, and those who are helping.
Akuno Atak Chol is one of those many affected individuals. He shared his experience:
“We walked for five days. We faced a lot of challenges… we had nothing to eat on the first two days. We had no good drinking water. We felt very tired and weak. But we continued to walk until we reached this camp [Man Awan]. When we arrived, the team from Action Against Hunger measured our children’s weight, height and arms and then gave them a peanut food that has lots of nutrients [Plumpy’nut]. The children who were too sick and couldn’t eat that food were taken to an Action Against Hunger clinic for treatment.”
Jogie Agbogan, our nutrition coordinator for South Sudan, provided her thoughts from the camps:
“There is so much desperation on people’s faces. The population, including the host communities, is in dire need of food. The area is at the peak of its summer and is very hot and dry. Everyone is lamenting about the increase in prices of basic commodities as supplies dwindle in the market. This food insecurity will deteriorate the overall health situation.”
What is ACF doing to help:
In addition to running our regular nutrition programs, we’ve screened over 2,500 children for malnutrition in four camps, with those identified as needing immediate treatment admitted into our stabilization centers. ACF teams have been conducting Infant and Young Child Feeding ( IYCF), health and nutrition promotion in three camps. With assistance from the World Food Program, we’ve distributed nutrient-dense BP-5 biscuits and Corn-Soy Blend (CSB ++) to thousands of children in Man Anguei and Man Awan. We’ve also set up an additional facility in the Man Awan site for treating children suffering from severe acute malnutrition and providing them with supplementary feeding.
We’ve also scaled up our water and sanitation programs, and worked with UNICEF to distribute non-food items like hygiene kits and water purification tablets to nearly 1,000 households.
Akuno Atal Chol expressed the meaning of this support: “We are very happy that Action Against Hunger takes good care of our children in the clinic and here in the camp. They come every day to help us with many other things that we really need. What they’ve been doing in this very difficult situation will never be forgotten by any of us who are here in this camp.”