Restoring hope to famine-affected populations in South Sudan
“I didn’t know where I was going – I just knew we had to leave. As we were fleeing, I had no hope that we would make it out alive.”
Originally from Blue Nile State, Sudan, Manahil Hamid was forced to leave her home when fighting broke out in her village. All she could think about was keeping her children safe, so she left her husband and fled, not knowing where she was running to or whether they would even survive the journey.
Manahil finally made it to South Sudan, where she sought refuge in Gendrassa refugee camp in Maban County.
We are so lucky,” she says. “Here we were finally treated with dignity.”
But Manahil’s struggle was not over. It was not long before her youngest son Mazen, then only one and a half years old, started suffering from diarrhoea and losing weight.
“I brought him to many different hospitals, but nothing helped,” she recalls. “I had seen many children die from diarrhoea - I was so scared for my boy.
When Manahil heard about International Medical Corps’ facilities where children were given nutritious supplements she was hesitant at first, until a community health promoter visited her home and told her about what could be done for Mazen.
“I did not think anything would help,” she explains, “but then I decided to bring him to the facility, where they provided him with food and treatment.”
In the wake of three years of ongoing conflict and political turmoil in South Sudan, more than 100,000 people now face starvation and death, and more than one million additional people in Greater Unity region are on the brink of famine. Insecurity continues to force families from their homes and hinder humanitarian access in South Sudan. Across the country, nearly 5 million people—or more than 40 percent of the population—face life-threatening hunger, and that number is only expected to increase.
International Medical Corps works in South Sudan to provide emergency assistance for refugees, conflict affected and displaced populations with support from the European Union. Community health promoters work to increase awareness of these live-saving activities amongst affected populations – ensuring children like Mazen have a chance.
Mazen’s weight soon started to increase, and the young boy was soon on his way to a full recovery.
“I am so grateful for this support,” Manahil says happily. “As you can see, my child is healthy now. International Medical Corps saved his life.
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