Sudan and South Sudan
The region of Sudan has been beset with internal conflict for decades. Even after the independence of South Sudan in 2011, fighting has continued in both countries. In December 2013, conflict in parts of South Sudan escalated significantly, and thousands of people have been displaced. The Caritas network has been working in Sudan and South Sudan to help those who have been affected by the conflict.
Why do we work in Sudan and South Sudan?
The Sudan region (encompassing the countries of Sudan and South Sudan) has experienced decades of conflict. Internal conflict and border clashes with neighbours have claimed the lives of millions of people, and displaced millions more.
In 2011, South Sudan gained independence from the north through a referendum. Although the initial transition to South Sudan’s independence proceeded relatively smoothly, underlying tensions have continued to grow, escalating dramatically in December 2013.
Due to the ongoing conflict, as well as a range of other factors, poverty in Sudan and South Sudan is widespread. Masses of people are internally displaced, and rates of maternal and infant mortality are high.
Our work in Sudan and South Sudan
Caritas network has been active in both countries for many years, helping those in need, especially those displaced by conflict.
In 2012/13, Caritas Australia supported 2 long term programs and 2 emergency programs in South Sudan, and 1 emergency program in Sudan.
Our work focuses on food security, water, hygiene and sanitation, HIV and AIDS, education, disaster risk reduction, peace-building, and emergency assistance.
Examples of our recent work in Sudan
- The ACT-Caritas Alliance program helps people who have been displaced by conflict in the Darfur region. The program provides clean water, nutrition, health services, education and skills training to approximately 500,000 people who are still living in camps.
Examples of our recent work in South Sudan
- The Community Based HIV/AIDS Program provided basic HIV/AIDS training for church members and parish development committees. These trainees have gone on to carry out awareness campaigns and provide educational programs in their parishes and wider communities. Through the program, there has been an increase in people seeking Voluntary Counselling and Testing services.
- The Food Security and Rehabilitation program supports vulnerable households who are rebuilding their lives after conflict forced them to flee their homes. The program provides households with skills and equipment to help with food production and earn a livelihood.
- The Hygiene and Sanitation program supports equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. The program provides the community with skills to construct low-cost pit latrines, hygiene training, and an increased awareness of sanitation and hygiene practices which will enable them to live in dignity.
- In December 2013, conflict between rival groups in South Sudan escalated to a point where many civilians were forced to flee their homes. Caritas Australia is helping respond to the immediate needs of displaced people. Read more: Prayers and thoughts for South Sudan, 3 Jan 2014.
Our Sudan emergency appeal has helped provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people in both Sudan and South Sudan. Working with local partners and the international Caritas network, our emergency response fund has helped provide shelter and non-food emergency kits to people displaced by conflict, and helped local dioceses prepare for the influx of refugees. For more see our Sudan emergency appeal page.