Mothers' Union announces $50,000 grant for famine affected communities in South Sudan

Mothers’ Union have announced the award of a $50,000 grant to provide food, tools and seeds for 20,000 men, women and children in Rubkona, Unity State, South Sudan, who are suffering from a lack of food as a result of the ongoing civil war, poor infrastructure and failing harvests that have blighted the region. 

Over 2,500 families have been identified by a ‘rapid stakeholder assessment’ carried out by the Diocese of Bentiu, as being those in most need and requiring immediate intervention. In response Mothers’ Union have teamed up with a number of relief agencies in the region, including the Sudanese Development and Relief Agency [SUDRA], Christian Aid and CMS Ireland to provide emergency relief for those in need. The money will provide deliver food supplies for people who have been identified as requiring emergency aid, as well as paying for seeds and tools, to local farmers plant crops that will help provide communities with increased food security in the years to come. 

In Rubkona County, many people have been forced to leave their homes because of insecurity and violence leaving their crops behind. The situation was exacerbated by the flooding the region experienced from June to September of 2016 and the drought which followed in early 2017, decimating the harvest. 

In an attempt to overcome their current lack of food, many people have been forced to survive on a diet of wild tree leaves and roots, while some women and children have resorted to prostitution in exchange for food, or early marriages as a means of survival. 

Nicola Lawrence, Head of Global Development and Policy at Mothers’ Union, said, “The situation across many states in South Sudan remains critical. Through our long-standing presence in grassroots communities throughout the country, Mothers’ Union is well placed to respond practically and quickly by providing essential supplies to these families.

Nicola added, “We continue to advocate for long-term solutions to the crisis through our national peace and reconciliation work, which aims to enable long-term economic empowerment through literacy circles and savings and credit groups.”  

Since the conflict began in December 2013, the UN estimates that 3.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes and another 1.4 million people are currently suffering from malnutrition.