Roughly 70 percent of the nation’s 39.5 million people live in rural areas where the government is unable to provide basic services. Clean water, food and adequate sanitation are scarce in these regions and only 22% of rural residents have access to electricity.
5.5 million people suffer from food insecurity within the country and 80% of the entire population is unable to afford the food they need to sustain a healthy and nutritious diet. Through a lack of food and resources, 40% of Sudanese people are malnourished. Famine and conflict in neighboring South Sudan continue to bring refugees into the country, with only 1 percent of newcomers able to afford the food they need. This has put an even bigger strain on the country whose population can’t even feed themselves.
Although primary education is free in Ethiopia, parent-teacher associations sometimes impose fees to cover the cost of school supplies. This has a detrimental effect on attendance. It is estimates nearly 3 million children between the ages of 5 and 13 are kept out of school, one of the highest rates of out-of-school children in the entire continent.
On top of food scarcity and a lack of education, there are only 5.6 doctors per 10,000 people. Hospitals across the country are unable to meet the demand. Despite much of the population residing in rural areas, most hospitals are located in Sudan’s urban centers and nearly two-thirds of the country’s doctors worked in the capital.
Sudan’s human rights record continues to decline. This is because the government forces repression and violations of basic civil and political rights, restriction of religious freedoms, and disregard for obligations on civilian protection. The government continues to restrict media by harassing and detaining journalists and charging them with crimes. This is just another way the government controls its population.
After facing dire living conditions, government control over the media, restriction of religious freedom, female genital mutilation, lack of education and healthcare, they need your help.
Here in Calgary, we are looking for highly compassionate and dedicated individuals who are willing to help these people navigate life in Calgary. If you have the time to spend only a few hours with these families every week, we need your help.
These friendships will change these families lives and they will also change yours.
Photo Credit: J.Mitch