The world’s newest country is at a critical time in their short history since independence. Violence that broke out on December 15, 2013 due to internal divisions has quickly spread and a severe humanitarian emergency has emerged. More than 1 million people have been displaced as they flee violence inside South Sudan and across borders into the neighboring countries. A ceasefire brokered in late January 2014 and revisited in May has been short-lived, as violence has continued across the country. Malakal, the capital city of Upper Nile State, experienced fierce fighting between anti-government forces (AGF) and government-led SPLA forces in February, 2014. In the wake of the recent crisis, Relief International was one of a few organizations with an established presence in Malakal responding to the urgent needs of displaced families and children which number more than 20,000, many of them living in or around the UN compound in Malakal. Learn more about our response here.
More than 50 percent of people in South Sudan live below the poverty line. The maternal mortality rate is among the highest worldwide, and female illiteracy rates exceed 80 percent. Despite these alarming statistics, the nation's birth on July 9, 2011 led thousands of South Sudanese to return to their home regions, with hopes of a better, more peaceful life. However, the population remains especially vulnerable as the region lacks economic opportunity and has been nearly completely evacuated over the course of the long civil war.
Relief International is primarily working in Maban and Longuchuk counties of Upper Nile State. In Maban, RI is helping Sudanese refugees who have fled violence from the Blue Nile state of Sudan, as well as their host communities. In Longuchuk, RI is focusing on livelihoods activities to help improve the resilience of vulnerable South Sudanese communities affected by severe annual flooding and the economic isolation that results. Our Longuchuk programs maintain a strong focus on the development of market infrastructure through training and market linkages while also targeting employment, health and education. In order to ensure country-specific aid and long-term effectiveness, Relief International works with the knowledge of returnees and builds upon existing and damaged infrastructure, such as market rehabilitation and water, sanitation, and hygiene services. Our Maban program has a particular focus on peace building and protection, as the influx of refugees into a vulnerable area creates tensions over shared resources. Many women remain vulnerable to gender-based violence; RI is working on case management and capacity building for women’s groups to support each other.
South Sudan - Current Programs
South Sudan: Promoting Livelihood Restoration & Food Security of IDPs and Vulnerable Host Communities in Maban County, Upper Nile State
RI is providing opportunities for livelihood development and sustainable production through the provision of seeds, agricultural tools, and fishing equipment. Learn More...
South Sudan: Achieving Dignity for Doro
Achieving Dignity for Doro is a project funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, addressing water, sanitation, hygiene, protection, and health needs. Learn More...
South Sudan - Past Programs
- Developing and Improving Primary Health Care, Providing Emergency and Nutritional Services in Mabaan County and Upper Nile State
- Assistance to Returnees in Mabaan County
- JUMPSTART: Livelihoods in Maban and Longuchuk Counties
- Sudan: Establishing a Post-War Health Network in South Sudan
- South Sudan: Improving Access to Clean Water & Household Sanitation in South Sudan