Smiles amid desperation in South Sudan

South Sudan has suffered from nearly four years of conflict. Millions are lacking the very basic necessities to survive – clean water, food, shelter, medicine.

The conflict has left many unable to work their land. There has also been an influx of people made homeless by fighting in other parts of the country. Many lost all their belongings when fleeing.

Cecilia Tabu, 12, is waiting under a tree with her mother Vajda. “Normally, our only food is leaves that we cook with salt and water,” says Vajda. “Usually, we have nothing, so today we are happy. We can finally eat something different.”

Cecilia fled her village with her mother and four siblings one year ago. Her father was killed while he was collecting food for the family. After this her mother decided that their home was not safe anymore. Simple things, like a hoe for cultivation, will help her family get back on their feet.

In this recent distribution, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), working with the South Sudan Red Cross, focused on distributing seeds and tools to help people get back into farming so they can provide for themselves.

They were also given food to tide them over until they can harvest their crops. Around 13,000 people received seeds, tools and food in Rokon.

“Before the crisis, life was good. We had no hunger. Because of the drought we lost all our crops and were left with no seeds,” Jennifer explains. She was first in line on the second day of the distribution and got support for her daughter Alice and her other children. Like many across the country, this lady had resorted to eating leaves to survive.

[ICRC]

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