South Sudan

Mary’s Meals provides emergency support in South Sudan following ethnic clashes

News and Press Release
Originally published

Mary’s Meals has launched emergency relief efforts in South Sudan after ethnic clashes led to a surge in people fleeing the violence.

Nearly a million people have been displaced following heavy fighting in the town of Bentiu in Unity State, in the north of the country.

Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee into the neighboring states of Jonglei, Upper Nile, and the Lakes State, where Mary’s Meals is carrying out vital emergency support.

School feeding is the main focus of Mary’s Meals, but the international charity also has a long history of providing emergency relief to children living in vulnerable regions.

In response to the humanitarian crisis, the charity has expanded its school feeding operation to reach a further 1,850 internally displaced children, bringing the total number of children receiving a daily meal in the region to 12,150 across 27 schools.

Mary’s Meals is also working closely with its partner in the region to help set up temporary classrooms in both IDP camps and at existing schools to accommodate displaced children.

Magnus MacFarlane- Barrow, Mary’s Meals chief executive, said: “The volatile security situation in South Sudan has created severe food shortages. What was already a crisis has become an emergency, so when our partners asked for help to feed more hungry children, we felt compelled to give it.

“We are thankful that we have been able to use a generous gift made to us to help save lives in a place where so many are suffering.”

Mary’s Meals sets up and runs school feeding projects in communities where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. The charity currently provides a meal every school day for over 890,000 children across five continents.

The aim of Mary’s Meals is to address the immediate needs of a hungry child by giving them something to eat, and to enable that child to receive the education that can offer an escape from poverty. The average global cost for the charity to feed a child for a whole school year is just £12.20.

For further information on Mary’s Meals, please visit


Notes to Editors

Mary’s Meals began in Malawi in 2002 when its founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow met a young woman called Emma who was dying from AIDS. She was sitting on the mud floor of her hut surrounded by her children. When Magnus asked her 14-year-old son what his dreams were in life, his stark reply was: “To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day”. This was a key part of the inspiration that led to the Mary’s Meals campaign.

Contact information

For more information or to arrange an interview with our support team on the ground in South Sudan please contact:

Katy Ross, Press and Communications Manager, on or +44 79 74 749 326

Jo Lehmann, Communications Officer, on or +44 77 66 891 359

For further information on Mary’s Meals, please visit or follow the charity on Twitter and Facebook.