Samaritan's Purse providing aid amid new South Sudan crisis

As bombs fall, Christian relief organization helping refugees who are fleeing northern violence

CALGARY, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse is responding to a rapidly growing flow of refugees fleeing persecution in Sudan and congregating in a remote area of South Sudan, close to the volatile border. At least 300 new refugees are arriving each day at the camp, in a village called Yida.

While Samaritan's Purse employees were trying to help the South Sudanese on Thursday, four bombs fell on or around the camp at 3:30 p.m. local time. No deaths were reported, and all Samaritan's Purse staff were accounted for. South Sudan is accusing its northern neighbor of conducting the bombing raid.

South Sudan became an independent nation last summer after two decades of civil war between the north and south. Despite a peace treaty, there have been several violent outbreaks, including some in which people in the north deemed to be aligned to the south were attacked and driven out.

Many of the refugees in Yida say they were victims of violence before escaping Sudan. Most are arriving in the camp with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. Samaritan's Purse is providing food (including special nutrition supplements for children), water, medical care, and other basic needs. Few other organizations are in the area because all roads were washed out during the recent rainy season.

"We are asking people to join us in helping the growing number of victims in this terrible situation," said Fred Weiss, executive director of Samaritan's Purse Canada. "Donations by caring Canadians will enable us to meet the basic needs of these unfortunate people on the run. Without immediate action, this already very urgent situation has the potential to turn into a significant humanitarian disaster."

Before Thursday's bombing, Samaritan's Purse was preparing to fly in drilling equipment to drill several water wells. The Calgary-based organization is determining when it will be safe to continue with this work.

"We ask Canadians to pray for everyone suffering in the camps, and for peace in the region," Weiss said.

Donations Needed
To support this emergency relief work, call 1.800.663.6500 or visit

About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 70 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Calgary-based charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world each year, and the Turn on the Tap initiative that raises funds for life-saving BioSand Water Filters in the developing world. Go to for more information.

SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information:

Media Inquiries:
Jeff Adams
Director of Communications and Creative Services
Samaritan's Purse Canada
1-800-663-6500 or 1-403-250-6565 or


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