The decision by the Canadian government to commit an additional $86 million in response to the catastrophic humanitarian situation in South Sudan is being welcomed by Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
The announcement was made from the South Sudanese capital city of Juba by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development.
Over 100,000 people in South Sudan are currently experiencing famine, and an additional 5.5 million people are facing severe food insecurity.
“The level of suffering being experienced in South Sudan right now by so many is beyond the comprehension of most Canadians,” says Foodgrains Bank International Programs Director Barbara Macdonald.
“This decision by the Government of Canada toward the people of South Sudan shows a strong commitment to supporting the poorest and most vulnerable people.”
Through its members, the Foodgrains Bank is responding to the suffering in South Sudan. One person being helped is Lokuron (no last name given), a mother in that country whose family is receiving emergency assistance through a project supported by the Foodgrains Bank and implemented by its member ADRA Canada.
Lokuron’s family is one of 2,250 families receiving emergency food rations through the project.
Before the drought in South Sudan, Lokuron and her family were able to get by. They ate things like sorghum, milk and wild vegetables twice a day. Now they walk three hours each way to the food distribution site, with Lokuron carrying her two-month old daughter on her back.
Before the project, they foraged for wild foods, and often went without eating entirely.
Although Lokuron is mainly concerned about her children, she is undernourished herself. She is finding it difficult to breastfeed her baby, and the family’s situation is dire.
“It is so important for Canada and Canadians to continue to help people like Lokuron and her children survive these horrible circumstances,” says Macdonald. “We are glad to see the government providing more help.”
Until June 30, donations to South Sudan, as well as to Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria—three countries experiencing similar conditions—will be matched by the Government of Canada through its Famine Appeal Fund.
So far, the Foodgrains Bank and its members have received over $2.4 million in donations being matched by the Government’s fund.
“More help is badly needed,” says Macdonald. “There are more people like Lokuron who need help. I urge Canadians to give generously.”
In addition to the project through ADRA Canada, the Foodgrains Bank is responding in South Sudan with a nutrition project through its member World Relief Canada for 42,000 severely malnourished children and mothers in famine-affected parts of the country. Together, the projects total $960,000. Through its members, the Foodgrains Bank is also planning additional responses.
–Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator