Islamic Relief has been working with rural communities in South Sudan, where long-standing drought and conflict has led to a major refugee crisis, severe poverty and widespread hunger. Over 7 million people do not know where their next meal is coming from. We have been supporting communities to build thriving agricultural livelihoods and build peace.

In Warrap, South Sudan, poverty is rife, and many families have little to no income. Long periods of drought have had a devastating impact on agricultural livelihoods. Many farmers have been unable to harvest crops which are both a source of income and food for their families.

Communities now live on a diet consisting almost entirely of meat, as they have been unable to grow vegetables and grains. The lack of fibre in their diets and high meat consumption has caused health issues among communities, including heart disease and a loss of eyesight. What’s more, communities in Warrap have also experienced inter-communal conflict, making their situation even more challenging.

Islamic Relief has been helping 2,000 people in Tonj, Warrap, to create sustainable livelihoods and combat the effects of the changing climate. Bringing community members together in groups, we provided drought-resistant seeds and trained them in agricultural techniques to withstand periods of drought and maximising profit from their produce. We have also repaired a modern drip irrigation system, which produces thousands of litres of water every hour, helping crops to thrive.

Islamic Relief have also helped improve relations between communities in the area, where resources are becoming increasingly scarce as a result of the changing climate and loss of livelihoods – fuelling an increase in conflict. We are helping to unite communities through a shared goal of becoming more resilient. Our peacebuilding work has received recognition and appreciation at all levels of government in South Sudan.

Akon’s story

Mother-of-9 Akon was previously a housewife, looking after her family. They were eating a diet comprising mainly of meat, and faced health problems as a result.

“Meat is a traditional food for people in Warrap. The effect of eating too much meat has led to several cases of loss of eyesight.”

As part of our project, Akon was provided with training and now practices small-scale farming to feed her family.

“Now, we’re able to grow a variety of vegetables such as okra, tomatoes, collard greens and groundnuts. This has greatly helped our situation, and meant that the health and diet of my family has really improved,” says Akon.

The project has meant that families now have a reliable source of income from selling their produce, a more balanced diet and improved relationships in the community.

Islamic Relief began humanitarian operations in South Sudan in 2003, before the country gained independence from Sudan. With your support, we provide lifesaving aid and development programmes for vulnerable people like Akon.

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