Media CenterCatholic Relief Services Calls for an End to the Violence in South Sudan

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Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]


BALTIMORE, MD, July 15, 2016 – Though the recent upsurge in violence in Juba has led Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to evacuate its non-essential international staff from there, CRS remains committed to working for a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan.

“We have been with the people of South Sudan throughout this time of hope and peril,” said Jerry Farrell, CRS’ country representative in Juba, the country’s capital.  “And we are not deserting them now. As soon as the violence ceases and the ceasefire holds, we will return to Juba for rapid assessments of the most urgent humanitarian needs and are poised to respond quickly with food, water and sanitation, trauma counseling, whatever the people need.”

Farrell said that CRS is supporting the work of Solidarity with South Sudan to help those affected by the current violence with food, water and shelter in churches and schools, where many have sought refuge. An international group of Catholic religious, Solidarity with South Sudan is a longtime partner of CRS active throughout the country.

This latest round of violence has displaced 42,000 people from their homes, according to the United Nations, in addition to millions of others who have been suffering from the ongoing violence and food shortages because of drought. 

“Nearly half the population is relying on food aid in the middle of a harsh and early lean season that is now underway,” Farrell said. “People can’t buy food and we need to get assistance to those in Juba and beyond as soon as possible.”

Farrell pointed out several international staff are remaining in South Sudan to provide leadership and continuity of CRS’ programs throughout the country. In addition to long-term development work, CRS is one of the largest providers of food assistance in South Sudan with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food for Peace.

“As we look back on five years of South Sudanese independence, we see political dysfunction leading to unthinkable violence, displacement, hunger, and now fragile peace once again broken,” Farrell said. “The people of South Sudan, whom we have come to know so well, expect and deserve better. We hope that the international community will work to see their hopes are fulfilled.”

Specifically CRS calls on the U.S. government to pressure the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to effectively carry out its mandate to protect civilians in their Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs) and monitor the conflict.

“We appreciate positive U.S. Government efforts to promote the full implementation of the August 2015 peace accord and ask that these efforts continue unabated,” Bill O’Keefe, CRS Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy, said.

“Now we hope that the U.S. coordinates with UNMISS and other international partners to pressure both the South Sudanese government and opposition forces to ensure that humanitarian actors can reach those in need safely and securely as we work toward a more lasting peace.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Tags: Africa, Violence
Kim Pozniak

Director of Communications

Kim Pozniak
July 15, 2016

Based in Baltimore, MD

As the Director of Communications, Kim oversees the communications and social media teams working with journalists and the media to connect them with engaging stories about relief and development programs that are making a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world.

Her previous work at CRS includes handling emergency...More