- RURAL DEVELOPMENT
- SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
- SECURITY, RECONSTRUCTION AND PEACE
- GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working intermittently since the 1970s in the region which is now South Sudan.
The GIZ coordination office has been based in the capital city of Juba since 2010. Currently 62 national employees are working in the country (as of 31.12.2018). Staff who were on assignments in the country were evacuated in July 2016 due to the crisis. The projects are managed from Germany, with visits to South Sudan taking place on a regular basis.
South Sudan is almost twice the size of Germany and, according to current estimates, has around 13 million inhabitants. More than half of the population is under 18 years of age. About 50 per cent of the people in the country live below the poverty line and face a very real threat of starvation. Only about a quarter of the population can read and write.
After decades of civil war and the conclusion of a peace agreement, the country has been independent of Sudan since July 2011. South Sudan is considered a fragile state. A violent conflict which started in 2013 and continues to this day has already claimed thousands of lives. Some 2.5 million people have fled to neighbouring countries and there are around 1.9 million internally displaced persons who have had to leave their homes.
The ongoing disputes have set the young state back, reversing many of its developmental successes. Major challenges facing the country include the lack of infrastructure, exorbitant expenditure on the military and police, hyperinflation, high costs for goods and services, corruption, and extreme population growth.
The first government negotiations between Germany and South Sudan took place in 2013. Three priorities were agreed in respect of the cooperation work that GIZ is carrying out on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development:
- Food security and agricultural development: a large proportion of the population of South Sudan is afflicted by hunger or undernourished. GIZ and its partners are treating malnutrition in at least 12,500 children and mothers, and have helped some 15,000 smallholder households to resume agricultural production.
- Municipal water and sanitation sector: almost half of the population has no access to water and sanitation facilities. GIZ is helping water supply companies in three towns to safeguard the drinking water supply for at least 70,000 people. GIZ’s work gives around 20,000 schoolchildren access to improved sanitary facilities.
- Good governance: the conditions required for the non-violent resolution of conflicts are currently lacking in South Sudan. GIZ promotes non-violent conflict transformation and the dissemination of the message of non-violence in the media by training specialists from local councils, people who work in the media, and other influencers.
In the ongoing conflict situation, the focus of the work is also on supporting internally displaced persons and returnees as well as the host communities. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, GIZ has an active role in transitional assistance in the west of the country and works in the context of the special initiative ‘Tackling the root causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees’.
The German Federal Foreign Office also lends its support through GIZ to the implementation of the peace agreement signed in 2015.
GIZ is also engaged in other activities in South Sudan within the scope of regional programmes. These include cross-border water cooperation in the Nile Basin, integration in the East African Community (EAC), and the African Union's peace and security research and education programme.