Francis Ojoadi is a Caritas South Sudan Humanitarian Officer based in Juba.
Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, but extreme hunger is widespread throughout the country. The food crisis has come about through a combination of war, drought, poverty and economic collapse.
We are supporting our partners Caritas South Sudan through this crisis, Francis Ojoadi works as a Humanitarian Officer with them in the capital Juba.
“Caritas will continue to provide essential assistance, and we need to be strong to support those who are less fortunate than us… People need to look past their tribal affiliations and see themselves as South Sudanese. Only then can real independence come,” he says.
At the peak of the fighting last year, Francis had to assist his family over the border to Uganda, where they joined the other nearly 720,000 refugees that have fled south since July 2016. He is particularly concerned for his 13-year-old daughter, as he says that immorality in the camp is high and girls are forced to sell themselves to get money to be able to pay for basic necessities. With the number of pregnancies already at high levels, Francis wonders what the long-term impact will be on these refugees, as well as on his own family.