Bonn/Berlin, 2021-12-01 The day before the UN presents the “Global Humanitarian Overview” (GHO), providing figures on humanitarian needs for 2022, Welthungerhilfe highlights a humanitarian disaster in South Sudan, a country that regularly ranks one of the top positions of the GHO ranking. 800,000 people in South Sudan are currently affected by severe floods, which have left large areas of the country underwater. For the third successive year, the White Nile has burst its banks in several regions following heavy rains; UN experts are saying these could be the worst floods for 60 years. Welthungerhilfe is providing an additional amount of 400,000 Euros as emergency assistance to support families with essentials and to reinforce the softened dikes. In total Welthungerhilfe now has provided more than 1.3 million Euro with ongoing activities and additional support to the people affected by the floods in Bentiu, Rubkona, Payinjiar, Nyal and Ganiyal in Unity State.
Unity State is particularly severely affected. Many people have waded through hip-deep water to take shelter in higher areas. Houses had been destroyed, animals drowned, and fields and harvests washed away. “We walked eight days from our village to reach this camp for internally displaced persons. It rained every day, and we slept in the water”, explains Nyapuoa Kuol Bachuy, who fled to the city of Bentiu. “We were successful farmers until now. The flood destroyed everything we had achieved, and we have lost our entire harvest. We are all wondering how on earth we will survive this.”
The disaster comes in a country in which 60% of the 12 million inhabitants were already suffering from hunger. 1.4 million children under five are considered to be acutely malnourished. Many small farmers have suffered repeated setbacks due to the effects of violence and civil war. Droughts and floods due to climate change are increasing: “In South Sudan we can see how extreme weather destroys people's livelihoods: Floods are becoming increasingly extreme in scale and duration. This means that harvests and incomes have shrunk, leading to increased hunger and desperation”, says Bettina Iseli, Programme Director of Welthungerhilfe.
Welthungerhilfe has extended ongoing distribution of goods, including food and fishing equipment, for flood victims in several regions. It is also providing nearly 400,000 Euros of immediate assistance to provide 3,000 families in Unity State with hygiene kits, tarpaulins, and emergency cash for food. Dykes around camps are also being repaired.
Sandra Schuckmann-Honsel, Welthungerhilfe's emergency assistance expert is available for interviews in Juba (South Sudan). Current, broadcastable video material from the region is available for download.
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since it was founded in 1962, more than 10,369 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 4.2 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of empowering people to help themselves: from fast disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.