CRWRC Disaster Response at Work Today

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In southern Sudan, thousands of people are returning home after spending more than 20 years in refugee camps. CRWRC is working with them to rebuild the agricultural system and improve food security.

“During the course of the conflict, nearly every southern Sudanese person was forced from their home and displaced to neighboring states or refugee camps in other countries,” said Nate Engle, a CRWRC staff member in the region.

“Now, with the coming of peace, many people are returning to their homes to rebuild their lives.”

Yet for those who have spent 20 or more years in a refugee camp, that is no easy task.

“The region’s robust agriculture base that once fed much of Sudan and beyond is in shambles,” explained Engle. “Young men, never able to learn or develop an interest in farming because of the war, are moving to cities to look for work. This is creating a labor shortage on existing farms.

“Roads, not maintained for so long, are in extremely poor condition. This is resulting in exorbitant transportation charges to move local foodstuffs from farms to urban centers.”

As a result, there is a huge market for food in urban centers but few local farmers growing or transporting their crops there. Instead, cities are importing food from nearby Uganda.

CRWRC is launching a program that will look at the whole system of food production, from farming to processing and marketing, to identify areas of improvement. It then plans to spend two to five years working with local communities to improve food production and marketing.

In addition to this program in southern Sudan, CRWRC Disaster Response is also providing emergency relief and food security programming in the following countries:

Ethiopia – food and orphan care in response to drought

Indonesia – emergency supplies in response to earthquakes

Kenya – food aid, food for work, goats, and trauma healing in response to conflict and drought

Laos – tools, seed, and food programs in areas of chronic drought

Liberia – improving agriculture in an area of chronic hunger

Malawi – food aid and grain banks in an area of chronic hunger

Mali – improving agriculture in an area of chronic drought

Myanmar – housing for cyclone survivors

Nicaragua – restoring agriculture in response to storms

Niger – irrigation and improving agriculture in an area of chronic drought

Philippines – emergency food, water, and medical supplies in response to typhoons

Sudan – supplemental nutrition in Darfur for those affected by conflict

Uganda – food security programs for people returning after conflict; introducing cassava in response to chronic drought

Zimbabwe – food for school children in response to drought.

For more information or to support any of these programs, please visit www.crwrc.org.

About the Author

Kristen deRoo VanderBerg was part of the World Renew Communications team from 1999-2016. She now serves as director of Communications & Marketing for the Christian Reformed Church.

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