First hand information on the emergency in Unity State, South Sudan has come from Bishop Gattek from the Benitu Area Diocese, of the Episcopal Church of Sudan.
Several weeks ago, the Alliance posted an appeal on behalf of Bishop Gattek to help returnees from North Sudan and other nations, internally displaced people and the host community who are still in great needs of humanitarian aid. On top of this already difficult situation the rainy season has affected near 50,000 thousand people who have been forced to flee again. Waterborne diseases and snake bites are an immediate concern for the church, as well as the continuous movement of returnees and refugees from Sudan.
Episcopal Relief and Development has given a generous donation of US15.000 to help communities in Unity State. The Northern American agency has a long-standing partnership with the Sudanese Development and Relief Agency (SUDRA) of the Church of Sudan and is working toward implementing risk reduction activities in different Dioceses.
According to United Nations Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Humanitarian bulletin 24 – 30 Sep 2012) the number of people affected in South Sudan by the seasonal flooding between June and September has tripled since last year up from 79.000 in 2011 to 258.000 so far this year.
Eight out of nine counties in Unity State have been flooded according to the UN agency (see map) although it does not give the exact number of the people affected. Bishop Gattek provided the Anglican Alliance with more details regarding the villages affected by county which can be seen here.
Bishop Gattek asks Anglicans around the Communion for prayers and support for communities that have suffered so much and are trying to find ways forward in the new state of South Sudan.