As South Sudan Economy Falters, Local Believers Meet Needs

Image depicts men having a Bible study in Alungo Village. (Photo, caption courtesy of Daryl Finley / World Concern)

The COVID-19 pandemic and falling oil prices hit the world’s newest nation hard. South Sudan just took its first loan from the International Monetary Fund. See our full coronavirus coverage here.

Analysts say South Sudan fared fairly well earlier this year thanks to political stability and an uptick in global oil sales. Today, however, is a very different story. “You’re not able to predict prices, so the business community [is] finding it very difficult when it comes to operating,” World Concern’s Joshua Bundi says.

“Commodities have been very expensive in the market. Very few people can afford to buy basic items because the cost is too high.”

The economy is only one of South Sudan’s many challenges. The country largely depends on imports, Bundi explains. When COVID-19 restrictions limited the movement of goods and people, “that created shortage within the market. The prices went up [and] very many people lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods,” he says.

Plus, South Sudan’s currency is falling, so daily wages don’t go as far as they used to. Recent flooding displaced more than 500,000 people.

Circumstances might be increasingly difficult, but they won’t stop Gospel work. With World Concern’s help, local believers take practical gifts and the hope of Christ to unreached communities. “Pray for the soul winning and the soldiers on the ground,” Bundi requests.

“We have over 200 evangelists. Every day they wake up talking about reaching out to more and more communities.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Ask the Lord to encourage His followers in South Sudan.
  • Pray they will endure this difficult season.