Cologne. As the civil crisis in South Sudan continues to deepen, Malteser International is intensifying relief to those displaced by the ongoing civil war. 1.3 million people have fled the violence to safer places within the country and to neighboring countries, and are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
“Because of the increasingly large number of displaced persons and refugees, there are dramatic supply shortages in almost every area: food, water, shelter, and health care,” says Jan Gruss, Malteser International’s South Sudan program manager. “The start of the rainy season will cause the situation to deteriorate even further, as logistical challenges such as muddy roads hamper the delivery of relief goods.”
In the county of Maridi in the southwest of the country, where Malteser International has been working to strengthen the health care system, the organization will initially provide food packages and household items to 7,500 people; these displaced families will also receive seeds and agricultural tools so that they may improve their food supplies in the long run.
Over the past three months, Malteser International helped improve and expand the water supply in Rhino Camp, a refugee camp in North Uganda currently hosting 11,000 South Sudanese refugees. The well in one cluster was equipped with a solar-powered pump, a high-level tank and tapping points. Malteser International will sink three more boreholes in critical places; four more wells will be motorized and distribution systems will be installed to improve access to safe water. In addition, 25 of the area’s wells will be protected against animals with help from the community, and rainwater harvesting systems will be installed at the camp’s schools and health posts. In order to improve the hygiene situation in the camp, the project will also include hygiene education and the distribution of 24,000 soap bars as well as hygiene kits for girls.
Malteser International has worked in today’s South Sudan since 1996. The relief activities count on funding from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office.
About Malteser International:
Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work. For more information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.int
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