Humanitarian and political background
In 2011, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, following a peace agreement that ended Africa's longest-running civil war. Yet only two years after independence, violent conflict began to ravage the country once more, displacing over 3 million people.
Deteriorating humanitarian situation
South Sudan's civil war has displaced an estimated 1.87 million people inside the new country's borders. In addition, more than 1.15 million people have fled to neighbouring countries. Hunger is on the rise and 3.6 million people are in need of food assistance according to the World Food Programme.
According to OCHA, more than 6.1 million South Sudanese are in need of protection and humanitarian assistance such as food, clean water, education and other basic services.
Little international attention
Despite a peace agreement signed by the warring parties in August 2015, the people of South Sudan have yet to experience peace. Peace efforts have been complicated by the plethora of actors that continue to fight over resources and power. In July 2016, fighting broke out in Juba and soon spread to previously stable areas of the Equatorias. The fighting is still ongoing and civilians are deliberately targeted, causing widespread displacement.
Despite the urgent needs, international media attention has dwindled. Since fighting began in late 2013, the humanitarian response has been left severely underfunded. If this trend continues, the consequences will be dire: a shortage of life-saving and long-term assistance that could otherwise contribute to recovery.
People we helped in South Sudan in 2015
NRC in South Sudan
NRC has been active in southern Sudan since 2004 and South Sudan since its independence in 2011. Across South Sudan, NRC runs static operations and has mobile teams providing emergency assistance, often with the help of helicopters, in areas that are difficult to reach by road.
In 2014, shortly after the civil war broke out, we scaled up our activities to meet the population's growing humanitarian needs. Our mobile teams reached remote areas in the three states most affected by conflict: Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei.
I would love to go to school, but it is not possible for me now.
Achal (9) lives in the UNMISS camp outside of Juba, South Sudan.
We provide access to quality education for children, youth and adults. In addition to providing the skills they need for the future, education contributes to a sense of normalcy in the daily lives of displaced people.
Our education activities:
- Provide children with education and protection through youth programmes, accelerated education, and education in emergency projects.
- Give adults the opportunity to learn reading and writing skills through basic adult literacy programmes.
Food is an immediate and basic need for all people.
Through our food security activities, we:
- Distribute food in remote areas.
- Provide cash assistance to people affected by displacement.
- Distribute vouchers for people to use at their local merchants.
- Support people in getting a livelihood by giving trainings on agricultural production.
- Facilitate small farmers' access to the markets by repairing roads and organising agricultural fairs.
We distribute emergency shelter in remote areas.
Through our shelter activities, we:
- Distribute shelters and kits containing kitchenware, mosquito nets and plastic sheeting.
- Enable people to participate in the building of their shelters.
- Instruct people on how to repair and improve their shelters when needed.
- Construct schools and classrooms.
Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA)
A displaced person can meet a range of legal barriers.
Our ICLA experts work to overcome these to:
- Provide information and training sessions so that people can learn about and exercise their housing, land and property (HLP) rights.
- Provide conflict resolution to promote peaceful coexistence in the communities.
- Support women in obtaining access to land and security of tenure.
We construct and rehabilitate latrines and water points and repair existing facilities.
Our WASH activities aim to:
- Facilitate access to clean water and latrines.
- Reduce mortality related to waterborne diseases, such as diarrhoea and cholera.
- Spread knowledge about safe hygiene practices to people affected by displacement.
"If we give up, they might give up"
"It is us, who are outsiders, who need to engage and encourage," says Jeffrey Mapendere, a NORCAP mediation expert deplyed to Juba.
Living from hand to mouth
SOUTH SUDAN/Ngop: Famine was declared in South Sudan in February. Over 100,000 people have been affected so far. A million more are on the brink of mass starvation. We speak to four families about how they are surviving.