[ ‘SHARE’ May-Jun 2017 ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
Ever since the declaration of independence of South Sudan, the South African country was never free of ethnic and political conflicts. South Sudan’s President, Vice President, and the House Chair came from the tribe of Dinka, Bari, and Nuer—three of the largest ethnic groups of the country—respectively. The Vice President raised a coup against the President in 2013, and the political conflict quickly turned into a nation-wide civil war, involving over 20 military groups, and causing the deaths of tens of thousands of countrymen. An increasing number of regions were damaged by the violence exerted by both the government and the anti-government forces.
The armed conflicts sent more and more Sudanese refugees to the neighboring Uganda, which accepted over 20,000 refugees in the week of 25 Jan to 31 Jan this year alone. South Sudan has currently passed Somali to become third in refugee crisis severity, trailing only Syria and Afghanistan.
There are currently 700,000 South Sudanese refugees seeking asylum in Uganda, and the UNICEF estimated that 64% of that population are children, whose nutrition conditions are continually degrading, not to mention the spiked chances of malaria outbreaks since the country’s rainy season started in March.
Moreover, there are around 2 million South Sudanese who are internally displaced. According to the visiting UN group, an estimation of 100,000 people are currently starving, malnourished, or are experiencing critical survival conditions.
The Integral Alliance (IA) has started working earlier this month in supporting the refugees in north Uganda. We financially supported the Medical Teams International (MTI), an IA member, in their medical and health services in a north Uganda region housing 50,000 South Sudanese refugees, including the building of 3 temporary hospitals that provide inpatient and outpatient care. Their services focus on public health, nutrition replenishment, and treatment of tuberculosis and AIDS, hoping to raise the health level of the region and provide adequate help to the refugees.
Pray that God would protect the South Sudanese refugees and provide for their needs, and pray that the opposing camps could quickly resolve their conflicts through peace talks. Please also pray for MTI’s staff and for their fruitful services to the refugees.