6 March 2014
The British Red Cross is today launching an appeal to help thousands of people affected by the conflict in South Sudan.
Fighting has engulfed the world’s newest nation forcing people from their homes and tearing families apart.
Nearly one million people have been made homeless as a result of the ongoing violence, while 4.9 million are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.
People are in desperate need of food, water and shelter; the approaching rainy season also brings with it the increased risk of disease.
In a country that already had large-scale humanitarian needs prior to the outbreak of fighting in December, the conflict has created a dire situation.
As of early March, more than 705,000 people have been made homeless in South Sudan, while another 202,500 have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the UN.
Ben Webster, British Red Cross disaster response programme manager, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people in South Sudan are in a desperate situation without shelter, food or access to safe water.
“Families have been separated and many people who fled the fighting are now living in the bush. They are in urgent need of help.”
South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July 2011, making it the world’s newest nation.
Mr Webster added: “The conflict will compound South Sudan’s existing humanitarian problems and it will undoubtedly have long-lasting consequences on the country’s development.
“Right now the priority is saving people’s lives, which is why we’re launching this appeal and asking for the public’s generous support.”
Red Cross help
Money raised from the appeal will go towards supporting the work of the Red Cross in South Sudan and neighbouring countries that are helping refugees from the conflict.
The British Red Cross pledged £175,000 from its Disaster Fund in February to support the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in South Sudan.
The ICRC has been providing clean water, food, shelter and emergency materials, such as blankets, to people in need of help.
It has also provided surgical teams and is helping to reunite families separated by the fighting.
Please donate to our appeal.
Find out more about South Sudan.