Investing in the future - Welthungerhilfe helps returnees to make a new start

News and Press Release
Originally published

Bonn, 15.04.2011. Since last October more than 250,000 people have returned from the north of Sudan to the south of the country. In January 2011 many of them voted in the areas where they used to live for a new and independent state, and now they want to build a new livelihood for themselves in their old homeland. Welthungerhilfe will invest in their future and will help to create better living conditions for the returnees. Two projects are providing support over the coming weeks for refugees who have returned from the north to Bahr el Ghazal Province. 5,000 households are receiving tarpaulins and building materials in order for them to erect their first temporary shelters. In addition, folding water canisters are being distributed so that the families can transport and store clean drinking water. Most returnees have only been able to bring a few belongings with them, and now they find themselves completely bereft of resources.

The infrastructure in the new state is in a parlous condition, since there is a lack of the basic facilities such as schools, medical clinics, and roads. Welthungerhilfe in conjunction with international partners is therefore helping to provide basic medical services for the returnees in three health centres. These centres are also open to the resident population in order to avoid potential conflicts between the new arrivals and local families from the outset.

"We will do everything in our power to support this new state. The people who voted so peacefully in the referendum in January need a helping hand in order to make a new start“, is how Welthungerhilfe's Secretary General, Wolfgang Jamann, explains the work in South Sudan.

In the past Welthungerhilfe operated in southern Sudan over many years up to 2009, and it will support the establishing of the new state together with its European partners in Alliance2015. It is planning to carry out further emergency relief aid and rehabilitation measures this year, which will meet the pressing needs of the local population whilst advancing the speedy integration of the numerous returnees. These measures include improving drinking water supplies, expanding the provision of education and health services, and providing food security for families.

Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest non-governmental aid agencies in Germany. It provides integrated aid: from rapid disaster aid to reconstruction and long-term development assistance projects in conjunction with local partner organisations based on the principle of help towards self-help. Since we were founded in 1962, we have provided 2 billion euros worth of funding for more than 6,200 projects in 70 countries – for a world without hunger and poverty.

Issued by:

Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V. Press Department Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 1 53173 Bonn Press mobile phone no.: 0172 / 25 25 962

Contact person: Simone Pott Tel. 0228 / 22 88 -132

Assistant: Doris Theisen Tel. 0228 / 22 88 -128 Fax 0228 / 22 88 -510