For the people of South Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries, cattle are more than a critical food source—they are at the very heart of South Sudanese culture, communities, and livelihoods.
Revered and highly valued, cattle are an essential source of income and contribute significantly to the socioeconomic well-being of local communities. This is especially true for the country’s many cattle camps, where nomadic people and cattle live side-by-side, migrating in search of greener pastures during the dry season.
But right now, the health of millions of cattle across South Sudan—and the people who care for them—is at significant risk due to the impacts of conflict, mass displacement, extreme poverty, and climate change, which is causing both increased flooding and more severe dry periods.
Cows in South Sudan.
At the same time, veterinarian care is nearly non-existent in most parts of South Sudan—a reality that is exacerbating an already unprecedented state of emergency in the country, where 62% of the population is experiencing acute food insecurity.
In the midst of these extraordinary challenges, Veterinarians Without Borders North America/Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Amerique du Nord (VWB/VSF) is working hard to improve the health of South Sudan’s cattle and contribute to a brighter future for a population at risk.
Working together to improve animal health in South Sudan
With the generous support of our donor community and Global Affairs Canada, VWB/VSF is delivering critical care, supplies, programs, and training that strive to not only uplift animal health in South Sudan, but build resilience, reduce vulnerabilities, and increase coping capacities for long-term sustainability of care and food security.
Community Animal Health Workers in South Sudan caring for a goat.
Working in close partnership with community members, community animal health workers, national and local governments, and civil society organizations, our on-the-ground team trains farmers on modern livestock management practices, delivers livestock vaccination, assessment, and treatment programs, helps community members learn to identify common zoonotic diseases, and more.
Beyond building local capacity to care for cattle and other livestock, VWB/VSF is also helping South Sudan’s farmers learn about other sustainable methods of farming for nutrition and income.
Through a 10-month research project to help farmers learn about edible insect farming, for example, community members like Lemia Alice—a 43-year-old single mom of seven children—now have access to new sources of income and food security.
Last year, generous funders enabled us to vaccinate 41,103 animals, train 100 community animal health workers, deliver 10 edible insects training sessions, and support the socioeconomic well-being of 3,270 people in South Sudan.
Community Animal Health Worker vaccinating cattle in South Sudan.
How you can get involved
We rely entirely on the generosity of our donor community, which includes both individual supporters and government funders, to continue improving the health and well-being of animals and people in South Sudan.
If you would like to help care for livestock and enhance the livelihoods of people across South Sudan this holiday season, please consider donating today.
Interested in keeping animals and people healthy in South Sudan? Click here to learn how!
Looking for a unique gift idea for the animal lover in your life? Consider donating in support of a symbolic veterinarian kit for South Sudan to provide our team and those we serve with critical items like clinical supplies, emergency vet equipment, first aid supplies, and generators while supporting animal health initiatives for animals and communities in need. Learn more and get your symbolic veterinarian kit today.