Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting disaster response efforts in Haiti and several Episcopal dioceses in the United States following Hurricane Matthew, which blasted through the Caribbean as a Category 4 storm before moving up the Atlantic coast and causing damage from Florida through southern Virginia.
February 28, 2017
Episcopal News Service posted an article on the humanitarian response to the famine declaration in South Sudan.
"Episcopal Relief & Development has been active for more than two years supporting local efforts to provide food aid in South Sudan, through its partners in the Anglican Alliance and by working with relief agencies and diocesan leaders in the country. The organization has a continuing presence in areas that, while not meeting the definition of famine until now, have long been dealing with extreme food shortages, said Nagulan Nesiah, senior program officer for disaster response and risk reduction."
Read the full article: Episcopal Church weighs renewed aid efforts in South Sudan after famine declared
February 22, 2017
Episcopal Relief & Development participated in an Anglican Alliance call on February 21 with the leadership of SUDRA, the humanitarian arm of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, regarding the previous day’s UN famine declaration. Episcopal Relief & Development plays a leadership role in the Anglican Alliance’s ongoing relationship with SUDRA, and has helped coordinate the Alliance’s crisis response efforts there since 2014.
“Over half the people in South Sudan are on the verge of famine – due to drought and the security situation,” explained The Rev. Joseph El Haj, Manager of SUDRA, on the call. “In Yei and Kajo Keji many people have left their homes and harvests. They are now without food. In Kajo Kaji the markets don’t have food. Many have already moved to Uganda. Others are staying around the churches for safety.”
Episcopal Relief & Development has responded to emergency needs during several periods of political crisis over the past few years, most recently in July 2016 when approximately 220 families sought refuge on Cathedral grounds during an outbreak of violence in Juba. The organization’s relationship with SUDRA began before South Sudan gained its independence through a referendum vote in 2011, and has since included emergency response activities as well as efforts to resettle refugees.
"Food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition has been getting steadily worse since the conflict started three years ago," said George Fominyen, UN World Food Program spokesperson in Juba, according to CNN. The UN also noted that 1.5 million people had fled from South Sudan to Uganda, and nearly 2 million are internally displaced within the country. An estimated 4.9 million people are in need of urgent food, nutrition and agriculture assistance.
Please continue to pray for all those affected by unrest and food shortages in South Sudan, and for those who are working to reduce suffering and restore security.
“We are concerned about the long-term impact of political instability on South Sudan’s agricultural and economic sectors, since it is very difficult to recover when normal day-to-day activities have been put on extended hold due to displacement,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Program Officer for Disaster Response and Risk Reduction. “Whenever we talk with our partners in South Sudan, they always ask us to pray for peace. Emergency assistance will help in the immediate term, but lasting peace is necessary for a full recovery.”
Donations to the South Sudan Fund will enable Episcopal Relief & Development to send help where it is most needed.
Prayer for Crisis in South Sudan
Most merciful God, whose peace surpasses all understanding, protect your children in South Sudan as they struggle for safety amid political unrest; guide them as they seek basic sustenance; and bless them as they forge a new path. Be with our sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan as they respond to the crisis around them, so that their hearts and minds will be guarded to carry on the work of your son Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in whose name we pray. Amen.