South Sudan has few roads across its great swampy plains, meaning aid and mission groups depend on MAF’s aircraft to reach people suffering through hunger, conflict and isolation.
With a tropical climate and few roads, MAF’s pioneers identified modern-day South Sudan as the African nation most in need of a flight service as early as 1948.
Regular operations began in 1950 with basic equipment, poor maps, and only intermittent radio communications. Nearly 70 years on, travellers to remote communities face many of the same challenges. The needs if anything, have only grown.
There was great optimism when the world’s youngest nation became independent from Sudan in July 2011. Tragically, renewed conflict in December 2013 now resulted in what the UN has called ‘one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises’.
Half of the population is in desperate need of immediate food or medical assistance and long-term support is needed to rebuild livelihoods.
An aerial view of the problem…
- The humanitarian need is made worse by the poor state of the nation’s roads.
- Travel over rutted mud tracks makes journeys time consuming, exhausting, and fraught with risk.
- Difficult terrain and geographical barriers like the Sudd, one of the world’s largest wetlands, hinder both travel and access to services for those who live there.
- Real dangers are posed by militias, bandits, road accidents and increasingly by unexploded ordnance from the ongoing civil war.
- Sometimes the road runs out completely – during the wet season roughly 60% of the country cannot be reached at all by road.
Where MAF flies in…
A three-hour flight for one of our humanitarian partners can save them a week’s journey overland in the dry season and a month in the wet season.
We think our partners should be on the ground dispensing medical care or delivering therapeutic feeding programmes – not counting days or weeks of lost time travelling to remote communities.
Every flight makes a difference!
In the face of overwhelming need, MAF flights are enabling partners to treat patients, assist refugees, spread the Gospel, disciple believers, and provide education, healthcare, food, clean water and essential supplies, by flying them to their destination.
We are there to provide emergency evacuations when violence erupts.
- Pray for safety for pilots flying in and out of areas of insecurity to evacuate NGO staff and deliver essential supplies
- Pray for wisdom to discern airstrip conditions in the rainy season (April – November)
- Pray for strength for our team our partners and for good relations with the authorities.
MAF uses planes to transform the lives of the world’s most isolated people, bringing help and hope to those in need. South Sudan is just one of the 26 countries in which we work. To find out more about our inspirational work sign up to receive our free enews, quarterly magazine and prayer diary today.