Mennonite Central Committee is requesting donations to support the people of South Sudan who are suffering trauma and extreme hunger as they flee an armed conflict in their new nation.
More than 800,000 people are displaced within the country, formed in 2011, and more than 250,000 are refugees in neighboring countries, according to the United Nations. The conflict, which began in December because of a split within the ruling political party, escalated into widespread violence.
Nearly a third of the population is facing starvation in South Sudan, according to MCC’s area directors in East Africa, Ken and Laura Litwiller, who are from Lewistown, Pa. Those displaced by fighting urgently need food, clean water, medicine and seeds before planting season ends.
“A great deal of international attention has been given to political posturing and spectacular acts of violence,” the Litwillers wrote. “But many more will lose their lives in the slowly unfolding humanitarian catastrophe of famine, floods and cholera that the rains will bring with the end of the planting season this month.”
MCC encourages prayer for the people of South Sudan. MCC is also asking for financial donations, blankets and relief and hygiene kits. These items are in high demand as MCC continues to respond to needs in South Sudan and other areas such as Syria, Ukraine, Bosnia and Serbia.
So far, MCC has provided almost $200,000 in emergency assistance for South Sudan and neighboring countries.
Through partner organizations, MCC is:
- Providing one meal a day for 3,000 displaced children living near the Awerial Dicoese in Lake State.
- Financially supporting leaders from the South Sudan Council of Churches as they attend peace talks.
- Providing emergency food for 4,000 displaced and vulnerable people in Renk.
- Supporting training sessions on trauma healing for 80 women and youth from local South Sudanese churches.
- Supplying hygiene items and blankets to refugees arriving in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Donations can be made online at donate.mcc.org or by calling 1-877-517-5673.