Media CenterCrisis in South Sudan

In South Sudan, Catholic Relief Services is engaged in emergency response activities including food rations, food security, health and hygiene, farm tools and seed. Photo by Ric Francis for CRS

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Crisis in South Sudan

At only a little more than four years old, South Sudan is the world’s youngest country. But conflict between the nation’s two largest ethic groups is defining its young life.

In addition to fighting, South Sudan is dealing with the influx of displaced people, underdevelopment and poor coping mechanisms.

According to the United Nations, some 7.9 million people, out of a total population of nearly 12 million, do not have enough to eat.

CRS Response

CRS is providing comprehensive support to vulnerable families in Lakes and Jonglei states.

Since January 2015, CRS and Caritas teams have:

  • Distributed 6,656 tons of food and nutritional supplements to 265,019 people
  • Repaired 54 boreholes, formed 41 water user committees and trained 48 committees at the local level
  • Taught 4,000 farmers about post-harvest storage
  • Trained 130 community hygiene promoters, who then passed along hygiene messages to more than 33,000 beneficiaries

CRS has also formed Savings and Internal Lending Community groups and served people through food-for-work activities. Throughout it all, we collaborate with the Church and other organizations to support peacebuilding and reconciliation.

The Church is one of the few institutions in South Sudan that has the credibility, capacity and presence to effectively address concerns that affect society at large.

 In June 2015, CRS participated in a workshop with 25 leaders from the member churches of the South Sudan Council of Churches to position the council to take the lead in peace and reconciliation efforts.


Rebekah Kates Lemke


Rebekah Kates Lemke
August 4, 2015

Rebekah Kates Lemke is the senior content developer/strategist for Catholic Relief Services. Previously, she was a web producer, branded content writer and editor for CRS and worked in television news for 15 years. She is based in Baltimore, Maryland.More