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Caritas has prepared supplies near key hotspots to distribute in the event of a crisis to 100,000 people. These include tarpaulins, soap, buckets, and jerry cans, shelter. Credits: Karen Kasmauski/CRS

Caritas has prepared supplies near key hotspots to distribute in the event of a crisis to 100,000 people. These include tarpaulins, soap, buckets, and jerry cans, shelter. Credits: Karen Kasmauski/CRS

Sudan is approaching possibly the most critical point in it modern history.

A nation whose past includes decades of conflict is about to make key decisions on its future. Southern Sudanese will choose either the continued unity of Sudan or secession.

Caritas prays for the coming period to be peaceful and hope that an emergency response will not be needed. However, Sudan may face huge potential instability .

Caritas members are already working together in Sudan through the ‘Caritas Internationalis Emergency Preparedness Appeal’ to coordinate their humanitarian efforts. Caritas staff have been making preparations within the country they hope can save lives.

Caritas has been working with staff of the Catholic Church in Sudan and Sudanaid (Caritas Sudan) to strengthen our collective ability to respond to a future emergency.

This includes supporting training programmes since early August so that national and local staff know what to do in case of an emergency.

Staff are trained in Juba and other locations in Sudan, and then return home where they train their local staff in turn.

Workshops have been organised locally so a wide cross section of staff have the tools they may need in an emergency.

Caritas has also been working with communities, providing them with basic training on how to respond to humanitarian disasters. This has included establishing an early warning ‘Parish Based Information’ system .

Caritas members in Europe and North America have twinned with specific dioceses in Sudan to build up their organistion’s strength on the ground.

Typically people who are displaced travel with very few personal possessions and require access to food, water, sanitation and shelter when they arrive.

Caritas has prepared supplies near key hotspots to distribute in the event of a crisis to 100,000 people. These include tarpaulins, soap, buckets, and jerry cans, shelter.

Regardless of the final outcome, northern and southern Sudan will face huge challenges that they will need the support of the humanitarian community to overcome.