After a decades-long, brutal civil war ended with South Sudan separating from Sudan in July 2011, South Sudan is embroiled in a new, bitter conflict between government forces under President Salva Kiir and opposition fighters loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar. The two sides signed a cease-fire agreement Jan. 23 in Ethiopia, but fighting recently broke out anew in Malakal.
At least 1,000 people have been killed since conflict began in December, and more than 800,000 have fled their homes. U.N. compounds are sheltering at least 75,000 people and about 166,000 have taken refuge in neighboring countries.
Seven million people in South Sudan are at risk of food insecurity. Their situation could become much worse if conflict and displacement prevent farmers from working the land when the planting season begins in March.
Join World Vision in prayer for children and families in South Sudan.
Pray that safe shelter will be found for South Sudanese families.
There is insufficient space for displaced families in compounds. Those inside compounds are relatively safe, and families can receive whatever aid supplies are available. Those outside, however, are often not reached by food or clean water distributions, and families have no assurance of safety. Many reports confirm that people are hiding in the bush.
Lord, come to the aid of families who “ … hug the rocks for lack of shelter” (Job 24:8). Help them find safe places to flee from the fighting in their country. In Your mercy, protect families from fighting.
Pray for children’s health and welfare.
Even before South Sudan voted to break away from Sudan, the lives of children were in danger. Today, malnutrition still challenges the youngest lives, keeping millions from reaching their fifth birthday. U.N. and humanitarian groups’ staffs are rushing to vaccinate children against diseases like measles and typhoid and to provide food resources in compounds. Those living outside face uncertain conditions.
Lord, we lift to You South Sudanese children who lack food and healthcare. We ask that You would help their parents find food for them. Let aid distributions reach those children who need it the most. In Your mercy, provide children with what they need to survive.
Pray for hostilities to be settled.
Conflict has threatened this area of the world for decades. Yet many people and groups are working together to find a peaceful solution to the multiple challenges. A peaceful solution will allow families to return home and begin to rebuild their lives in safety and security.
Lord, You “make wars to cease to the ends of the earth … ” (Psalm 46:9). We ask for hostilities in South Sudan to come to an end. Help South Sudan’s leaders to amicably settle their political differences. In Your mercy, bring peace to this nation.
Pray for aid workers.
The conflict has made life difficult for aid workers and their families. Helping people amid insecurity presents daunting physical, mental, and spiritual challenges. Some aid workers and their families are inside U.N. compounds, and some are not. In some situations, there aren’t enough supplies to help everyone adequately.
Lord, we lift up aid workers in South Sudan to You. Give them strength and courage for each day’s tasks. We ask You to sustain staff, and encourage them during difficult challenges. In Your mercy, guide aid workers with wisdom.