Worsening Sudanese refugee crisis a “slow burn”

By July 27, 2023

South Sudan (MNN) — Analysts say Sudan could be on the verge of state collapse as fighting rages in Khartoum and other parts of the country. Over 740,000 refugees have now fled Sudan crossing over into Chad, Egypt, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

Mission Aviation Fellowship International has a base in Juba, South Sudan where they fly to isolated and remote regions of the country with aid, emergency services, and Gospel hope.

With the growing Sudanese refugee crisis, MAF South Sudan has partnered with local non-government organizations and ministries to get emergency aid to the refugee camps in South Sudan.

Vaughan Woodward, MAF’s director of global disaster response, says, “With the fighting still continuing and people still continuing to cross the borders there, we’re calling it a slow burn. It’s continuous and it’s slowly ramping up, and there is concern that it could turn into a larger humanitarian crisis than what it is already.”

On Monday 17 July a MAF plane took off from Juba International Airport with almost a ton of mosquito nets, blankets, and soap for international NGO Cordaid. (Photo, caption courtesy of MAF)

Some people fleeing Sudan are also refugee returnees caught in an endless cycle of displacement.

“There’s a lot of South Sudanese who have, in the past, migrated into Sudan,” says Woodward. “Now that the fighting has started, those migrants are actually returning into South Sudan. Many of them have had to leave in a hurry and so they don’t have many possessions with them.

“Once they crossed the borders, they are gathering in some camps that have been set up by the UN and other agencies. So we’re just seeing an increased movement of displaced people who are lacking resources and needing assistance.”

MAF pilots in South Sudan are flying emergency aid to camps for refugees from Sudan, compelled by Christ’s compassion.

“When we look at the ministry of Jesus Christ, He didn’t just preach the Word. He met people’s needs, healed the sick, and He fed the hungry wherever He went. So that’s a model that MAF likes to use as well.

“We help to meet the needs of people because once people have their physical needs met, they may be in a position to have their spiritual needs attended to.”

MAF flew a team from Dutch NGO Cordaid to Renk and spent three hours on the ground with them as they visited the transit camp where are thousand people are arriving every day. (Photo, caption courtesy of MAF)

Join them in prayer for peace in Sudan. Pray for refugees fleeing Sudan to know the perfect comfort of Jesus Christ.

Woodward also asks for prayer for MAF pilots and staff. “Our crew who fly into these situations where they often can see suffering,…it can certainly be draining when you realize that the needs are far in excess of what any one organization can meet.”

You can help have an impact by supporting MAF South Sudan here!










Header photo depicts MSF cargo (medicine) being flown from Juba to help the response to the refugee crisis in the north of South Sudan. (Photo, caption courtesy of MAF)