Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Suisse (VSF-Suisse) received funding from Swiss Solidarity to implement the Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods Project (EFSLP) in South Sudan.

The project aimed at supporting refugees, returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), asylum seekers, and host communities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, which borders Sudan. The implementation modality involved multipurpose cash transfers to 500 households, distribu-tion of fishing livelihood kits to 3,000 households, and distribution of fast maturing/nutrition-dense vegetable livelihood kits to 2,000 households. The intervention targeted 5,000 of the most vulnerable households (30,000 people), including 10,000 girls, 10,000 boys, 5,000 men, and 5,000 women, as well as youth (male and female), the elderly, and people with special needs.

Julia Mariam Mohmad, a 35-year-old refugee from Sudan and a mother of seven, was amongst the project participants. She arrived in Wedweil refugee camp in South Sudan, which was set up nearby the border with Sudan in Aweil West County, with her family in June 2023, having fled the war in Sudan. Upon their arrival in Wedweil camp, life became unbearably difficult. They received a one-time support of foodstuffs to cater to their family for 30 days. Other basic needs, such as shelter and non-food items like blankets, cooking pots, and utensils, were luxuries they could not afford. They had to ration their food and borrow cooking kits from their neighbours. The month of June, characterized by heavy rains, exposed the family to Malaria and other waterborne diseases due to increased contamination of water sources. Julia’s destitute state qualified her for entry into the VSF-Suisse program.

“I received a one off multi-purpose cash assistance from the program, which I used to buy mosquito nets, cooking sets, and construct a small makeshift temporary house for my family. I was able to start a tea selling business where I earn an average of 15,000 South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) (equivalent to CHF 12) per day. Currently, I have saved 150,000 SSP (equivalent to 117 CHF) for the expansion of my business to include a food kiosk. My family can now eat at least three times in a day and get other basic needs. I am so grateful for the support.”

Returnees and refugees who fled from Sudan into South Sudan through various border points are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, with many classified as IPC 5 (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Stage 5, Famine) despite the interventions made by different governmental, United Nations agencies and non-governmental institutions. The ones affected mostly are the children and women. This calls for an increased scale of intervention in terms of both frequency and magnitude. Such action would go a long way in alleviating hunger and preventing loss of life, while stakeholders search for better ways to address the situation through long-term action plans.

Michael Mogga
VSF Suisse Project Manager
Northern Bahr el Ghazal

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