2023 News

Filling the Hunger Gap in South Sudan

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

What would you do if you were facing starvation in three months’ time?

This was reality for more than half of the people living in South Sudan in 2022. The people faced a year of deadly hunger. 

Sadly, many people in South Sudan already know what it feels like to go hungry. They face a food shortage for three months every year. The lead-up to the October harvest, is known as the ‘lean season’. 

Usually, the World Food Programme (WFP) supports vulnerable people with food during this time. However, last year the WFP was forced to suspend its food assistance. Internal conflict, severe flooding, localised drought, and soaring food prices due to the crisis in Ukraine, meant that there wasn’t enough funding for life-saving food assistance. 

Local people were caught by surprise. One person we interviewed from Marialbaai said, “We were told at the last minute”. Another person living in a household of 12 people in Nyamlel said, “We were not having hope”. 

GMP relief and development partner, Christian Mercy International (CMI), responded to the cry for help. They were directed by the South Sudan Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare. CMI identified the most vulnerable people in their region and engaged their network of pastors and churches to complete the work of food purchase and distribution. Paulino Malou, CMI Director, said this included “food stuffs, oil and salt”. 

Paulino described the people who received food packages, “They are the poorest and vulnerable families who do not have goats or cows to sell for food”. Assistance during the lean season was crucial for “Widows, the elderly and young children,” Paulino said. It was reported that 10 to 15 people were living in most of the households. CMI distributed food to five payams (counties) within their region.

Thanks to your support, many people and families survived the lean season. One thankful recipient shared, “We would love to appreciate your efforts during the hunger gap period”.

GMP's Relief and Development program, COCOA, keeps an Emergency Fund so that our partners can respond quickly when disaster strikes. Your support provided urgent assistance to the Hunger Gap project. Thank you for your support of people in times of tragedy.

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