In the capital city of Juba, violence has greatly subsided. However, in many of the rural areas, the fighting continues. These are the areas where FH has worked.
Since 2001, FH has worked in South Sudan to improve education, water and sanitation, hygiene education, and local agriculture. Many relief and development organizations called non-government aid organizations (NGOs) have temporarily left the country until violence decreases.
FH emergency staff are remaining on the ground to continue work of assessment to serve communities during this conflict.
The FH Emergency Response Unit advises on appropriate response strategies to the dynamic needs in the area. In particular, the team is assessing on ways to protect women and girls who face an increased risk for gender-based violence.
“Civil unrest and violence have a particular way of targeting women and children. Violence almost certainly means people will be displaced, often in shelters where overcrowding and competition for resources means young girls and boys will be used as a bartering system for goods,” said Shawnee Ziegler, gender-based violence expert of FH’s Emergency Response Unit.
“Rape and abuse are weapons of violence that both sides use in order to instill psychological harm, and because women and girls are often seen as objects, to be used, sold and discarded it is imperative that any emergency relief programs take into account protections and gender violence concerns,” Ziegler continued.
Please pray for South Sudan’s conflict to end quickly. Please also pray about supporting FH’s Emergency Response Unit’s work in South Sudan and around the world.