The political climate of Sudan is one that has been unpredictable for several years, and resulted in many refugees fleeing the country. Thankfully, aid from Uganda and organizations has been successful in easing the burdens refugees face when they leave their country.
The Civil War in Sudan
Wars in Sudan have occurred since the 1960s, with the most recent civil war in Sudan beginning in 2014 over a political argument: Salva Kiir, the president of Sudan, believed Vice President Reik Machar was attempting to overthrow his presidency and undermine his power, and the disagreement divided the country.
Since 2014, attempts at peace have been interrupted: stolen oil and ethnic cleansing resulting from the civil war in Sudan and the nation’s violent political climate lead to a total of one million refugees leaving their homes by last fall.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, many of these refugees escaped to Uganda and more than 1,800 refugees leave South Sudan every day. Fortunately, Uganda’s open border policy has made it possible for refugees to find temporary rest where land, food, water and education are accessible.
In an interview with UNHCR, Tabu Sunday, a South Sudanese refugee, discussed her experience in leaving her parents to find safety in Uganda.
“Where I was living they were killing people,” she said. “My parents said they didn’t have enough money for travelling. So we had to walk on foot with my aunt. It was a long and hard journey. We had to use the Congo route to reach Uganda. My aunt stayed for a week and decided to return home.”
There are several aid organizations assisting refugees fleeing the civil war in Sudan. For instance, the Cooperative Assistance and Relief Everywhere organization (CARE) provides nutrition assistance to refugees in addition to the efforts of Uganda’s families and governments. According to CARE, approximately two million citizens from South Sudan have fled their country.
UNICEF has been involved in Sudan with the goals to improve health, nutrition, water, sanitation, education and safety. Making education more accessible in South Sudan is an endeavor of which many organizations have seen success — through UNICEF “Education in Emergencies” programs and the establishment of United Nations Protection of Civilians Sites, a 2013 project was able to improve such accessibility.
However, aid organizations have overcome some challenges in assisting South Sudan in the past. In the spring of 2017, the government of South Sudan blocked aid organizations from providing food to the country. Not only was a Save the Children base stolen from, but aid was blocked by the government as a form of brutality.
Despite these challenges, aid organizations persist and maintain a strong focus on improving the present and future lives of refugees.
As aid organizations persist in their efforts to help refugees, several organizations will need to take into account the political climate where aid workers are placed; for instance, being aware of the potential famines that will most likely result from the political climate of the civil war in Sudan. However, knowing this ahead of time will assist organizations in providing better care to refugees in need.
According to the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the violence in Sudan combined with famine and a history of an unstable political climate has made the issue of assisting the people in South Sudan very complex.
It is estimated that by March 2018, 8 million people will experience food insecurity. The European Union, and its partnerships, have contributed 43 percent of the aid to South Sudan.
Humanitarian Aid Efforts
The efforts of aid organizations make indisputable difference to refugees on the ground. According to UNOCHA, 5.4 million of the 7 million people in need of help received assistance by December 2017.
Below are a few of the organizations making a difference in addition to the European Union and its partnerships.
- The International Rescue Committee
- Save the Children
These organizations will continue to provide resources for people to learn about the issues in Sudan as well as give aid to the people there, steps that will continue the progress international groups have already set in motion.
– Gabriella Evans