Why we work in South Sudan

South Sudan became the world's newest nation on 9 July 2011. 

Nearly a decade later, civil war has left more than seven million people, or about two-thirds of the population, in dire need of help.

The conflict has ravaged South Sudan's economy, and eroded the Government’s ability to provide basic services to its people. Years of violence, displacement and underdevelopment have limited people's ability to earn an income and weakened families' ability to cope when times are tough.

Together with our HelpAge global network member South Sudan Older People’s Organization and other partners, we aim to reduce vulnerable people's hunger, build their long-term resilience and help them claim their human rights. We help protect older people who are displaced within South Sudan.

Improving nutrition and older people's access to food

We distribute cash vouchers to vulnerable older women for them to spend on what they need most, including food. We establish kitchen gardening groups and give people the skills and seeds necessary to grow vegetables, which helps to improve nutrition and gives households the opportunity to earn an income selling surpluses. Our partner GOAL is helping us set up village loan and saving associations, which farmers can use to get cash to support their agricultural production.

Sharing best practice to better meet older people's needs

We have established and trained older people's associations to support older people to represent their interests and needs within their community. We train other humanitarian agencies to better meet older people's needs using HOPE (Helping Older People in Emergencies) and to make responses more inclusive with the Humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities.

Legal aid and livelihoods opportunities

We train community paralegals to hold legal clinics with older people so they can better protect themselves from their rights being violated. We are empowering the most vulnerable older people to earn their own incomes through businesses such as setting up canteens, which makes them more self-sufficient and improves their status within their communities.
Download our Rapid needs assessment of older people: Wau, South Sudan, which highlights older people's challenges, and makes suggestions for opportunities and solutions to their issues.

Life in the camps: Mary's voice

Mary lives in a camp in Juba are being driven from her home (c) Samir Bol/HelpAge International

(c) Samir Bol/HelpAge International

Mary, 85, lives in a camp in Juba after fleeing her home

"My feet are swollen and I’ve lost my sight. It's hard for me to enjoy life. I'm too weak to go to the market or visit friends. I can’t even cross the nearby road because there’s too much traffic. It's become risky for me to go out and about.

"Because of the crisis we live in tents in poor conditions and I worry because where I live is very insecure.

"Living away from home at my age means I can’t be comfortable and be at peace. All I want is for stability to return to my village so I can go home and be happy.

"All the wars in my lifetime have affected me, but this one is the worst. It’s been so brutal.

"Blind, deaf and older people have been killed. Even the young aren’t spared. All my children have been killed, so now my granddaughter is caring for me."

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HelpAge International
C/O Concern Worldwide
Plot no 491, Melrose Place, Off Airport Road
Opp Ebony Bank, Juba, South Sudan

Email: gabriel.wani@helpage.org

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