The numbers associated with South Sudan’s violence reveal the level of brutality being carried out against civilians. Of the country’s population of 12 million, one in three residents has been displaced, while one in two is severely hungry and in need of food assistance.
In an effort to assist residents harmed by warfare, the ICRC on Aug. 10-11 distributed an emergency food supply to 1,000 families – or about 6,000 people -- in the village of Deim Zubeir, located in the northwest South Sudan.
About 54,000 people, including around 18,000 internally displaced people, live in Deim Zubeir. Many IDPs arrived after clashes started in Raja in June 2016. More people arrived after clashes in Raja in April 2017.
“You just carried your child and run without any property. We left all our property. Our property has now been looted. We don't even have beds in the camp. We just sleep on the ground,” said Sebit Akuar, a 31-year-old father of four now living in a makeshift home in Deim Zubeir.
A majority of the IDPs in Deim Zubeir arrived with close to nothing. The host community is sharing the little they have. The ICRC is assisting the host community with fishing nets. The ICRC has also rehabilitated a water point in the village.
The ICRC has previously distributed items like tarpaulins, clothes, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, cooking sets, jerry cans, buckets and soap. This was distributed to 700 families (4,200 people) in July, targeting the most vulnerable internally displaced people.
Belila Sabino, a Raja resident with five children, fled her home quickly when the conflict escalated. The family, who was pregnant at the time, walked for 10 days on foot with her children to reach Deim Zubeir.
“When the attacks happened my husband was away,” she said. “I fled with my children. I do not know where my husband is and he does not know where we are. It is a daily struggle to get food. I have no one to help me.”
The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in South Sudan Aug. 17, to view the devastating effects that the country’s continued violence is having on the millions of residents on the brink of extreme hunger (see video 2)