I don’t like to compare disasters but the tragedy of Nepal allows me to give you the best perspective on South Sudan that I can think of in three months here. It is almost impossible for me to explain the situation here so I am unfortunately using Nepal to help me sum up the situation of South Sudan.
What I have seen in Nepal after the earthquake kind of mimics what it is like in South Sudan everyday in terms of infrastructure, services, access to the basics in life. Conflict, no governance, disease and all those stereotypical things we hear about Africa are true in South Sudan to a degree I have never seen anywhere else in the world and as they are about to fall off an economic cliff it is only going to get worse.
Today in South Sudan 1 in 9 children will die before the age of 5, less than 40% have access to clean water, 14% have access to sanitation and 1 out of 100 children will complete high school. I usually don’t paint the sob story but even I can’t pretend to be positive in this situation.
As people who care about the world I don’t want you to feel bad about things. Feel good that you are and can be a part of moulding a better future for all global citizens.
If you have given to the Nepal earthquake in the past week then think about matching that donation or a piece of it towards the ongoing small and slow important successes that are occurring in places like South Sudan.
I am not a huge UN flag-waver but I have to say in South Sudan their purpose of protect and support, today and tomorrow is as good as I have ever seen anywhere. The UNICEF office here in South Sudan would not only greatly appreciate your donations but use them effectively for programs that are an active part of finding solutions in places like South Sudan!