South Sudan

South Sudan has faced armed conflict and humanitarian crises since its independence in 2011. The 2018 peace agreement ended the war at national level but there is only a very fragile peace. Switzerland's engagement in South Sudan focuses on food security and livelihoods, protection of the civilian population, human rights, peace and conflict resolution. 

A map showing South Sudan.
© FDFA

  

The nearly 13 million inhabitants of South Sudan face major challenges every day: conflict and violence, food insecurity, flooding and other impacts of climate change. The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after two civil wars, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more. The main drivers of the violence are the deep divisions in society as well as disputes over access to natural resources such as oil and grazing land. Conflicts over power at national and local level are also a key factor. A peace agreement between the conflicting parties was negotiated in 2018.

Two-thirds of South Sudan's population are still dependent on humanitarian aid owing to the cumulative impact of years of conflict, widespread violence, political instability, chronic food insecurity, a lack of basic services and the effects of climate change.

Switzerland's engagement in South Sudan has a particular significance. It has been active in the humanitarian field since the 1980s (when the latter was still part of Sudan) and is committed to peacebuilding measures. These complementary approaches have been a key feature of Switzerland's work in the past and will be reinforced in its 2022–25 South Sudan cooperation programme, focusing primarily on food security and livelihoods, protection of the civilian population, human rights, peace and conflict resolution. Switzerland has had a cooperation office in the capital Juba since 2006.

Food security and livelihoods

The chronic food insecurity in South Sudan is caused by a number of factors: conflict and violence, the rising price of staple foods, difficulties reaching people in need, logistical problems and the effects of climate change. Switzerland therefore aims to ensure that the most vulnerable people have access to food and to promote food sovereignty, focusing on the humanitarian aid-development cooperation nexus so as to strengthen resilience in a sustainable way. One such example is support for training farmers in increasing and diversifying agricultural production.

Switzerland supports projects run by the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as well as international and national NGOs. 

Agriculture and food security

Protecting civilians and promoting human rights

Switzerland's engagement aims to contribute to the protection of vulnerable and displaced people, particularly women and young people. It is committed to gender equality and to combating and preventing gender-based violence. Switzerland also works to strengthen communities to help them create a safe and peaceful environment for local people. It advocates in particular for unhindered access to protection measures for those especially in need. In addition, it supports a number of projects – run by UN agencies, the ICRC, and international or national NGOs – that provide relief aid or work for systemic change at local level in order to prevent, mitigate and resolve conflicts. 

Fragility, conflict and human rights

Peace and Human Rights Division

Approach and partners

Wherever possible and relevant, Switzerland takes an integrated approach combining humanitarian aid, development cooperation, multilateral instruments, peacebuilding and diplomatic measures in order to have the greatest possible impact. Switzerland’s partners include:

  • international and national NGOs
  • UN agencies
  • local civil society organisations
  • research institutions

Current projects

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Provision of CCCM, protection and social cohesion responses to Sudan crisis affected populations in Renk and Manyo Counties, Upper Nile

01.06.2024 - 31.12.2024

To respond to the needs of the growing number of refugees and returnees crossing the border into South Sudan due to the ongoing crisis in the Sudan, both in camp and host community settings. The intervention will improve CCCM, WASH2 and protection in Renk town, in the Transit Center (TC) at Renk and in the Reception Centre (RC) in Joda and Manyo.


2024 Additional allocation to WFP Country Strategic Plans (NHF)

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2024

The war in Sudan entered its second year. Sudan is facing a major humanitarian catastrophe. The conflict also affected neighbouring countries, in particular Chad and South Sudan who are already struggling with a dire humanitarian situation that pre-existed before the conflict broke out. The consequences of the war exacerbated the acute food insecurity situation in those countries. With additional funding, SDC reinforces WFP’s emergency response to deliver life-saving food and nutrition assistance in Sudan, Chad and South Sudan.


SSD: UNDP, Electoral Support Project

01.08.2023 - 31.12.2024

The proposed project seeks to finance phase 1 of the electoral support in partnership with joint UNDP, UNMISS and the members of UN Country Team in South Sudan. The National Election Commission (NEC), RTGoNU and other relevant actors such as academia and civil society shall be key stakeholders in executing the project. The support will mark the transition from the R-ARCSS to South Sudan in which government and society are based upon a constitutional order and democratic legitimacy. 


Supporting returnee and host communities to rebuild livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security (Triple Nexus) in South Sudan

01.07.2023 - 30.09.2025

This project will support returnees and the host communities to rebuild their livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security. This will be achieved through increased food production, sustainable management and governance of natural resources, initiating alternative income opportunities, non-violent conflict resolution and GBV prevention. This intervention aligns with the humanitarian, peace and development nexus and will contribute to durable solutions. 


South Sudan: Plan International, Integrated Protection, Skills Building and Learning for Empowerment of Adolescents, Youth, families and communities in Yei, Morobo and Kajokeji

15.06.2023 - 14.06.2025

This project seeks to complement the previous phase of an integrated protection intervention. It will build on key successes, achievements and key lessons learned through the provision of integrated life-saving emergency child protection services, skills building, empowerment of adolescent youth and communities in the targeted locations. 


Enhancing Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in South Sudan

01.06.2023 - 31.05.2026

Local authorities and communities will be strengthened in their technical and managerial capacities to reduce people’s livelihood exposure, vulnerability and resilience to floods and drought thus increasing food production and reduce food insecurity as well as displacement of people and competition over natural resources. This will be achieved through improved communication, coordination and knowledge-sharing, early warning systems and appropriate legislation. 


Mercy Corps: Strengthening Resilience in Agriculture, Livelihoods and Markets through Local Institutions in Greater Mundri

01.02.2023 - 31.01.2026

To sustainably move households out of chronic vulnerability, poverty and food insecurity by facilitating economic recovery and support for smallholder farmers and non-farm microenterprises. The support will consist of market system development (MSD), value chain development, vocational skills development and improved methods of agriculture, such as agro-ecology and conservation. The intervention will focus on women and youth and is highly relevant in a post-conflict context like Mundri (South Sudan).


CARE International: Breaking the Silence

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

The proposed project seeks to address key drivers of GBV, promote help-seeking behaviour, access to quality services for survivors and promote economic empowerment of vulnerable women and girls. Some key activities will include the provision of health, psychosocial, and protection support in one (1) existing safe house and three (3) women and girl-friendly spaces (WGFSs), the provision of unconditional emergency cash support to vulnerable survivors and livelihood opportunities. Through the partnership with WIDO, a local women-led organisation, CARE will work to transform negative masculinities and social norms.


Contribution to UNHCR Programme Budget 2023-2024 (earmarked)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

UNHCR is one of Switzerland’s key multilateral partners due to its unique mandate by the General Assembly of United Nations to provide protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, refugee returnees, and stateless persons. The strategic direction 2022-26 concretise the overall mandate of UNHCR for the upcoming years. Contributing to these directions allows Switzerland to achieve in particular the human development goal defined in the Dispatch to Parliament on International Cooperation for 2021-24.


Empowering vulnerable youth and women in fragile situation to foster community Resilience and cohesion through peaceful co-existence and promotion of livelihoods initiatives

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025

The goal of the project is to foster conditions for peace and promote community resilience in the Equatorias region of South Sudan through a combination of activities aiming at (1) building and supporting a workforce of peacemakers, (2) providing trainings in conflict resolution, (3) fostering social cohesion and conflict prevention through locally held community dialogues, (4) promoting entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods, notably by supporting women- and youth-led small income generating businesses, and (5) promoting sports as a platform for fostering peace and social cohesion among the youth. This intervention is coherent with the humanitarian, peace and development nexus (triple nexus) and contributes to durable solutions for IDPs and returnees. 


Nonviolent Peaceforce: Community-based Protection and Peacebuilding

01.11.2022 - 31.10.2024

The project will contribute to overall peace and security of targeted communities by addressing key civilian safety and security concerns, including child protection, intra-inter-communal violence, SGBV, women’s protection and empowerment, youth participation, community participation and general protection and peacebuilding. Interventions will focus on trust building and inclusion, enhancing capacities of existing community-based protection mechanisms including Women protection Teams and Youth Protection Teams, and Peace Committees, and restoring confidence in peaceful relations at community levels.


South Sudan UNDP Reconciliation, Stabilization and Resilience Trust Fund (RSRTF)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

The proposed support will contribute to sustainable peace, promote good governance and the rule of law, and create inclusive, just and self-sufficient communities. This will be ensured by jointly pursuing interventions along three thematic areas of Reconciliation, Stabilisation and Resilience through a combination of peacebuilding, protection and livelihood interventions. The fund will specifically focus on fragile and highly volatile areas in South Sudan.

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