28 February 2017 – South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) has made an appeal on the current humanitarian crisis of South Sudan. The appeal is addressed to the members of the International Community, International Ecumenical Church members through the World Council of Churches, and All Africa Conference of Churches, Friends of the People of South Sudan, ACT Alliance and Caritas groups.

The appeal says that “the Republic of South Sudan is gripped by a humanitarian crisis, and famine has now been officially declared. Millions of our people are affected, with large numbers displaced from their homes and fleeing to neighbouring countries, where they are facing terrible hardships in refugee camps. In a country, which is already suffering due to insecurity and collapsed economy, hundreds of thousands of people face starvation, if they do not receive food quickly. Our people are struggling simply to survive”.

The church body appeals to the International Community and Friends of the People of South Sudan “to provide immediate and large-scale assistance, but we also appeal to the warring parties to stop the war, to stop harassing our people, to stop the looting of food, and to open credible humanitarian corridors to allow both people and relief commodities to reach the most needy areas”.

South Sudan Council of Churches further says that “the Holy Father Pope Francis has made an appeal for “suffering South Sudan” saying, “at this time it is more necessary than ever that all commit not to stop making statements, but also to provide concrete food aid and to allow it to reach suffering populations”. Also, “the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Justin Welby, called the famine a “dire situation” requiring “an urgent humanitarian and prayerful response”.

The appeal concludes “by citing the first verse of the South Sudanese National Anthem: “Oh God, we praise and glorify you for your grace of South Sudan, land of great abundance, uphold us united in peace and harmony… Oh God bless South Sudan!”

South Sudan Council of Churches’ appeal was signed by Rev. Moderator Peter Gai Lual Marrow, the chairman of South Sudan Council of Churches, and by Fr. James Oyet Latansio, General Secretary.