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Collage South Sudan

The crisis that began in South Sudan in December is continuing to unravel despite a ceasfire. Almost 5 million people are in need of aid. The fighting has forced 700,000 people from their homes within South Sudan and another 220,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.

Caritas is gravely concerned about the situation. The ongoing conflict, poor roads and an early start of the rainy season has made it difficult to reach many people.

Caritas members have been able to provide food, emergency shelter kits and other aid items like kitchen utensils, blankets, mats, jerry cans, soap, mosquito nets and health care to those in need despite the insecurity.

The Catholic Church has joined other Christian churches in urging peace in South Sudan.

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Akou Marial (3 weeks old in the above photo taken in March) was born under a tree in the forests of Yolakot, South Sudan in Lake State where her family has sought temporary refuge.

South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. People often feld with nothing. They need food, access to clean water, healthcare, shelter, to plant their crops before the rainy season and above all else, peace.

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The Nile has become a lifeline for the people who have sought shelter along its shores. They collect water, wash dishes and do laundry along its banks.

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Hygiene is a critical concern as deadly diseases can spread quickly.

Church volunteers, Madeu Barnabas, above left, and Michael Mading, perform a hand washing demonstration before a distribution of shelter, hygiene, and household items kits in Yolakot, South Sudan in Lake State.

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Catholic Relief Services is one of the Caritas members working with the Church on the ground in South Sudan. Among the aid they’ve provided in Yolakot in Lake Satate are shelter kits, hygiene kits and household items kits, which include things like jerry cans.

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Caritas Internationalis is responding to the emergency in South Sudan through Caritas South Sudan, as well as CAFOD, Caritas Switzerland, Cordaid and CRS.

All photos copyright Sara Fajardo for CRS.