Strengthening Health and Livelihoods for Refugees in South Sudan


Strengthening Health and Livelihoods for Refugees in South Sudan

In late 2011, clashes in Sudan’s Blue Nile State forced tens of thousands of people to flee across the border to Maban County in South Sudan. Approximately 150,000 refugees now live in this region in four camps – Batil, Doro, Gendrassa, and Kaya – and face a precarious socioeconomic situation.

Insecurity, inflation, and unfavorable rains have further exacerbated refugee needs in Maban County. In 2018, the prices of staple foods reached record highs, driven by a sharp devaluation of the local currency and restricted market access due to conflicts in and around Maban.

Many refugees are dependent on food rations for their survival. The rations only partially meet their daily needs, leaving this food-insecure population coping with high malnutrition rates and in need of sustainable income opportunities to cover this gap.

With support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Relief International developed a series of programs focused on building the self-reliance and resilience of Maban County’s refugee population.

The livelihoods and environment programs strengthened local capacities and improved sharing of natural resources through:

  • Supporting 41 local manufacturers with training on production of a newly designed, fuel-efficient cookstove
  • Rehabilitation of deforested areas through woodlots planted with over 41,242 tree seedlings
  • Increased access to savings and credit to 908 people through Village Savings and Loan Association groups
  • Trainings at our agri-nutrition center, followed by planting 380 climate-smart perma-gardens

The health and nutrition programs provided quality, comprehensive primary healthcare services and health education through:

  • Linking more than 6,300 women through Care Groups responsible for messaging key health, nutrition, and WASH behaviors
  • Positioning 20 donkey carts throughout the Batil community to help women in labor safely reach the health center at night
  • Initiating mental health and psychosocial services in primary healthcare centers, leading to an increase in family planning participants to more than 2,000 people
  • Testing, counselling, and treatment provided to more than 2,700 people living with HIV/AIDS or concerned about infection

Project Profile


SOUTH SUDAN – Yusif Batil, Doro, Gendrassa, and Kaya refugee camps; Greater Maban County and Greater Upper Nile State

People Reached



  • sector_icons_economic_blk.png Economic Opportunity
  • sector_icons_healthcare_blk.png Health and Nutrition