Heavy rains have caused widespread flooding in South Sudan this year. Many of the hardest hit communities are in Jonglei state, where rivers and wetlands overflowed as seasonal rains arrived earlier than usual. In the villages of Haat and Pakur, in western Ayod County, floods forced approximately 6,000 people to flee their homes since May. Everything in the affected communities was destroyed. “Here, I lost hope completely. We do not see anything good,” says Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) patient Nyadak Kulang. “Like yesterday, if it were not for the MSF boat that came to our village and brought me here, maybe I wouldn’t be alive today.”
People are now sheltering on crowded river islands in huts they made of sticks and sometimes plastic sheeting. There are no latrines and there is no clean drinking water. MSF is running mobile clinics, providing vaccinations, and distributing basic items like plastic sheeting and blankets. However, MSF staff warn that the health of the displaced population is likely to deteriorate further without adequate assistance, as the flooding continues. Read more about flooding in South Sudan.
Médecins Sans Frontières
Médecins Sans Frontières, sometimes rendered in English as Doctors Without Borders. An international humanitarian medical non-governmental organisation of French origin. Best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases. In 2019, the group was active in 70 countries with over 35,000 personnel. Mostly local doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.
The organisation was founded in 1971, in the aftermath of the Biafra secession, by a small group of French doctors and journalists who sought to expand accessibility to medical care across national boundaries and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.
The organisation emphasises “independence and impartiality”, and explicitly precludes political, economic, or religious factors in its decision making. Only once in its history, during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, has the organisation called for military intervention.