Conflict between political factions erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, forcing many citizens of South Sudan to flee the country and seek refuge in neighboring countries. Since that time, 1.3 million South Sudanese have been internally displaced. More than 450,000 refugees have fled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda.1 Over 170,000 of those refugees have gone to Ethiopia, and that number is projected to grow to 350,000.
LDS Charities has partnered with other organizations to help alleviate the suffering of refugees in this region of Africa. In one such project, LDS Charities contributed funds to help Catholic Relief Services purchase, transport, and distribute 545 family tents. The five existing refugee camps in Ethopia had reached the limits of their capacity, and a sixth camp was approved for occupancy. Among these six camps, more than 60 percent of refugees are still in need of tents. This need has become especially crucial because of the seasonal rains and floods. In addition, LDS Charities also provided funding to support Catholic Relief Services in providing blankets and tarps to 3,500 families.
In addition to working with Catholic Relief Services in Ethiopia, LDS Charities also teamed up with Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness in the Ugandan cabinet. He requested help for refugees in the form of blankets, cooking pots, and mosquito nets.
Refugees from South Sudan and the countries hosting them will continue to face changes in their situation, and LDS Charities will stand ready to offer aid whenever and wherever we can.
1. “2015 UNHCR subregional operations profile—East and Horn of Africa” (United Nations Refugee Agency); http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e45a846.html.