In 2011, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, putting an end to Africa's longest civil war. Two years later, violent conflict broke out after political disagreement between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar, which has since forced over four million people to flee their homes: More than two million fled to neighbouring countries, and 1.9 million were internally displaced.
The food security of the country has been continually deteriorating, which led South Sudan to declare famine in early 2017. The poor food security situation throughout 2018 left an estimated 5.2 million people in food crisis in early 2019.
The parties in the South Sudan civil war signed a power-sharing deal in September 2018 and organised a peace celebration in Juba, attended by Rebel leader former VP and regional dignitaries. This has created some optimism about the prospects for lasting peace, but this is but one step in a likely very long process and does not address root causes of the conflict. Even if the newly signed peace agreement should hold, the country will remain politically divided and fragile. If peace is maintained, South Sudan will see continued mass movement of populations and a huge demand for service provision in urban centres, as IDPs and refugees return and potentially settle in new areas.
People we helped in South Sudan in 2017
NRC operates through both static and mobile modes of response, to both chronic and acute emergencies. The civil war and other bureaucratic impediments greatly affected humanitarian response delivery by limiting free access to people affected and creating constraints to humanitarian organisations, including NRC.
Our emergency teams on the ground deliver lifesaving aid. Our rapid response and mobile emergency interventions are one of our largest activities in South Sudan. We reach vulnerable people in remote hard to reach areas that are difficult to access.
Our education teams:
- provide children with education opportunities and give catch-up classes to those who have missed school
- provide youth with vocational training
- give adults the opportunity to learn how to read and write through basic adult literacy programmes
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
Our ICLA experts:
- provide information and training sessions so that people can learn about and exercise their housing, land and property rights
- help resolving conflicts over land to promote peaceful coexistence in communities
- support women in obtaining access to land and tenure
- help people obtaining their legal documents
Livelihoods and food security
We have food security projects in both conflict affected states as well as in the more stable areas. We also have emergency teams on the ground who deliver food to people in extreme need. Our teams:
- distribute food in remote areas
- provide cash assistance to people affected by displacement
- hand out seeds
- distribute vouchers for people to use at their local merchants
- support people in getting a livelihood by giving trainings on agricultural production.
- help farmers gain access to markets by repairing roads and organising agricultural fairs
Shelter and settlements
We distribute emergency shelters in remote areas. Through our shelter activities, we:
- distribute shelters and kits containing kitchenware, mosquito nets and plastic sheeting
- teach people how to build shelters
- instruct people on how to repair and improve their shelters
- construct schools and classrooms
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion
Our WASH activities aim to:
- provide displaced people with clean water and latrines
- spread knowledge about safe hygiene practices to people affected by displacement
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Norwegian Agency for Development cooperation (Norad)
- Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- World Food Program (WFP)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- European Union (EU)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF)
- Agri-team Canada
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
About NRC in (country)
Conflict to blame for extreme hunger in South Sudan
As the food crisis worsens across South Sudan, the Norwegian Refugee Council is calling on all parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian agencies to safely access people in desperate need of aid.
Five years into conflict, South Sudanese leaders must make peace prevail
Since 2013, South Sudan has been plagued by armed conflicts marked by widespread sexual violence, forced displacements and food insecurity. The Norwegian Refugee Council calls for full implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.
NRC in South Sudan is a co-lead of WASH and protection clusters. It is a member of the steering committee of the NGO forum and member of Humanitarian Country Team (HCT). NRC provides policy and context analysis that serves the entire humanitarian actors, donors, diplomatic missions and the rest. NRC promotes inclusion in humanitarian response and continually build its capacity through partnership with specialised agencies such as HelpAge.