Peace is still a far-off dream in South Sudan. Violence is widespread across the country;there is constant tension, largely caused by political friction.
South Sudan became independent in 2011, but has been in a state of civil war since 2013. A peace agreement was signed in 2018, but it was only in February 2020 that a united government was formed.
We hope and pray that this new agreement will create a turning point in the country.
Now, cases of COVID-19 are increasing. So far there have been 2,300 confirmed cases and about 40 registered deaths. But while that number is low, very little testing has been done and there are fears that the actual numbers are much higher and the situation will worsen.
A complicated crisis
Without a coordinated information campaign, people in South Sudan aren’t really aware of the dangers of Coronavirus. Most are not socially distancing or wearing masks. There are also very few medical centres in the country to deal with the virus, and the ones that do exist are poorly equipped.
What’s more, the rainy season has begun, and with it comes malaria. The initial symptoms of malaria are very similar to COVID-19, making diagnosis even more complicated.
Bringing hope and help
With your help, Missio was able to send an extra grant to our partners in South Sudan, to help the very poorest people in their parishes through this crisis.
They told us:
‘We formed a committee and agreed to buy food for those most affected by COVID-19 within the whole parish. We made a list of 30 families from each of our seven mass groups. These 210 families received parcels of maize flour, sugar, rice, pulses, cooking oil, tea, salt and soap.
‘We then found more very poor parishioners affected by COVID-19,who also needed our help and have since bought food and supplies to help them too.
‘We still have some money leftover which the parish COVID-19 group will keep in case there are some other very poor people affected by COVID-19, who need help’.
Thanking the helpers
‘Thanks to you, we have also been able to give a token of appreciation to each of the 30 members who managed the project, to cover their transport and telephone expenses. We also provided a meal for those volunteers who did the shopping and delivered all the parcels from house to house.
‘We are worried because of the poverty level, poor medical system in the country and ever-increasing cases of COVID-19. We kindly ask you to keep us in your prayers.
‘On behalf of all the 225 beneficiaries, and on our own behalf, we wish to extend our deepest appreciation to Missio and to all the donors who have helped us.’
Missio is always there
Thanks to our supporters in England and Wales, we are bringing people in the world’s poorest countries through this difficult year with practical help and hope. We are able to show God’s everlasting love through our overseas family, who are always close to people who are poor and in need.
Thank you for everything you do to help our sisters and brothers overseas. Our COVID-19 emergency fund is now closed, but every penny, pound and prayer you share for Missio and the Red Box will continue this vital work.
Additional reporting via Fides news service