Finn Church Aid started building schools this week in South Sudan, which is struggling with armed conflicts and food shortages. The building is concentrated in the state of Lakes and its border regions. The neighbouring state of Lakes’, Jonglei, is one of the worst areas of conflict. Most of the students in FCA’s schools are children who have fled from Jonglei.
The school situation in South Sudan is extremely bad. Over one thousand schools are still closed because of the conflict, and the teachers have not had their salaries paid in months. In a whole, there are nearly one million people left outside of education.
Finn Church Aid’s 35 new schools are basic, easily built classrooms. Toilets for boys and for girls are also built adjoining them. All the buildings are due to be finished by the end of the year.
1900 boys and 1600 girls will get to attend the new schools. Most of them are internally displaced people. The aim is that once the IDPs will be able to return home, the school buildings will remain to be used by the local population.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland funds building of the schools with 800 000 euros.
Famine threatens millions
In addition to the violence, school work in South Sudan is made difficult with crippling famine in the country.
”Many children probably cannot take part in schooling because of the lack of nutrition. Organisations are aiming to work together however, so that the families of the children attending school also receive food assistance”, Kalim Ul Masih, FCA’s Country Representative, says from the capital Juba.
FCA will start a new food distribution project in the state of Western Equatorian in August. Internally displaced people will be given corn flour, beans, cooking oil, sugar and salt as an emergency aid. There are approximately 12 000 people in the distributions’ circle.
According to the UN, South Sudan has the world’s worst food crisis at the moment. In UN’s estimate, famine threatens four million people.
For more information:
Kalim Ul Masih, Country Representative, South Sudan, firstname.lastname@example.org
(because of the poor telephone connections, we ask that contacts is to made with e-mail, you can write in English or Finnish) or
Eeva Suhonen, Communications Officer, phone +358 400 103 286.