Foodgrains Bank calls on Government to Increase Response to South Sudan

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Joins with coalition of organizations operating in Ethiopia in calling for help to ease widespread suffering

The depth of human suffering, deteriorating humanitarian conditions, and the potential for widespread hunger have led a coalition of 28 Canadian non-governmental organizations operating in Ethiopia, including Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to call on the  Canadian government to increase its response to the needs of people suffering due to conflict in South Sudan.

The coalition, called the Canadian Network of NGOs in Ethiopia (CANGO), cites three reasons for why the Canadian government should respond: The large numbers of people displaced by the conflict, the historical role Canada has played in responding to needs in the region, and the readiness of Canadian NGOs to scale up their humanitarian responses.

“While we recognize the constraints caused by a global surge of refugees and internally displaced people in other conflicts, a more substantial response by the Canadian government is desperately needed,” says CANGO in a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Since violence broke out in December 2013, more than 1.3 million South Sudanese have been displaced, and at least 341,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

“Ongoing fighting and washed out roads from heavy rains are pushing the country into a hunger crisis,” says Foodgrains Bank Executive Director Jim Cornelius.

Noting that many South Sudanese depend on farming for survival, he adds that the conflict has meant many people have been unable to plant their crops, a situation that will only cause the crisis to deepen over the coming months.

“We are deeply concerned about the depth of human suffering experienced by many people in South Sudan,” says Cornelius. 

The Foodgrains Bank, through its members, is responding to the crisis.

ADRA Canada, supported by Presbyterian World Service & Development and The United Church of Canada, is providing food vouchers to displaced people in Budi County. The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund and Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace will soon be implementing food distribution responses. World Relief Canada has delivered an emergency feeding program for displaced people.

–Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Officer

For more information on the crisis in South Sudan or to make a donation, go here.