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Cordaid NL
Food Security Humanitarian Aid South Sudan

Aid for famine victims South Sudan

South Sudan is suffering from the effects of drought and a devastating conflict. Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese are likely to become victims of a famine. Therefore, Cordaid has scaled up its emergency aid activities in the region to help prevent the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II from happening.

A staggering total of 20 million people in South Sudan and neighboring countries are in danger of dying from severe malnutrition. Right now, in South Sudan, 100,000 people are in immediate danger of starvation. Cordaid currently provides assistance to 30,000 people in the worst affected areas. But more help is needed.

“We must act now or many lives will be lost.”

Paul Borsboom, Cordaid’s humanitarian aid expert

Overview of our aid in South Sudan:

  • distribution of fishing gear, seeds and tools;
  • nutritious food for the most vulnerable;
  • water purification tablets;
  • medicines;
  • construction of water supplies and sanitation;
  • distribution of tents;
  • distribution of food vouchers.

“We must act now or many lives will be lost,” says Paul Borsboom, Cordaid’s humanitarian aid expert. “It will be very difficult to reach the remote, famine-affected areas, but through our partnership with local organizations, we can still reach the population that needs our aid the most.”


famine south sudanPaul Borsboom, Cordaid’s humanitarian aid expert, at work in a camp for IDPs near the city of Wau, South Sudan. Photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien


Portraits of famine victims South Sudan

Award-winning photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien traveled to the disaster areas in South Sudan. She portrayed the life-threatening situation of the displaced population of South Sudan, caused by years of conflict and drought. Not only did she take lots of pictures, of which many found their way to the major Dutch news media and became iconic images, she also had intimate conversations with the people who are in need of our help.

(Photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien) 

Angelo Sigin (85), IDP from Beselia

“I fled my village and found refuge in the camp for displaced persons in Wau. Every day I feel sicker. I have arthritis. The medication I’m taking doesn’t seem to be working. My family doesn’t care for me, so I depend on help from others. That’s why I want to stay here. Here in the camp, it is safe and I can get food. Recently, I received food vouchers from Cordaid. I bought rice, sugar, cooking oil and other stuff with them. That will keep me going for a while. I’m fortunate to have Madeleine, a neighbor in the tent opposite of mine. She cooks for me. Myself, I can’t do anything but lie on my back.”


(Foto: Ilvy Njiokiktjien)

The direct neighbor of Angelo Sigin is blind. Together with another blind woman, she lives in a tent in the camp for IDPs where people like Angelo and herself receive extra care and protection from Cordaid.


(Photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien) 

Bakhita Abol Akol (45), Salva Manyuat Ajaan (6), Wol Manyuat Ajaan (4), William Manyuat Ajaan (3), from Baggari

“We had a good life together, me, my husband and our children. We were farmers and had plenty to eat. Everything changed because of the war. My husband was murdered on January 1, 2016, by armed men while he was at work on the field. I fled with my children to Wau. Now I am a widow with seven children. I’m tough though. My two oldest daughters are married, but my five boys stayed with me. The three youngest still live with me in the IDP camp, but for my sons of 16 and 18, I believe it is safer outside the camp in the town. I wish we were all together again, in our own village. But it is still too dangerous.”


The camp for internally displaced persons, Western Bahr-el-Gazal, Zuid-Soedan. (Photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien) 


(Photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien)  

Laimona Khamis Mahmud, mother of four (40)

“I fled to the camp with my children, but nobody wants to share a tent with me because I have epilepsy. If I get a seizure, everyone is terrified of me. Therefore, me and my children have to live under a tarp. All we have right now are some onions and some corn flour, but after a couple of days even that will be gone…and then what?”


(Photo: Ilvy Njiokiktjien)  

Internally displaced persons in a camp near the city of Wau. Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have left everything behind, fleeing the violence. Now, on top of all this, the problem of severe food shortages have arisen.

The people portrayed on this page all receive support from Cordaid. Like other highly vulnerable people (elderly people living alone, widows, handicapped) they receive food vouchers, with a worth of 7,200 South Sudanese pounds (60 USD). With these vouchers, they can buy rice, flour, sugar, beans, cooking oil and soap at three local stores. These supplies will last them about a month.