Stabilising the livelihoods of returnees, IDPs and the local population in the Equatorias and Greater Pibor

Project description

Title: Special initiative aimed at tackling the root causes of displacement and reintegrating refugees: Supporting and stabilising the livelihoods of returnees, internally displaced persons and the local population in the Equatorias and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Sudan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Overall term: 2014 to 2018


Ongoing internal conflicts in South Sudan have taken their toll on the country’s economic cycles. Millions of people are affected by food shortages as a result of displacement, refugee movements, the loss of production resources or unproductive farming methods. Almost two million people are currently classified as internally displaced.

Food insecurity also prevails in the project region, which includes the states of Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area. The renewed escalation of conflicts has led to a further deterioration in food security and even famine in parts of South Sudan.


The livelihoods of returnees, internally displaced persons and the local population in the Equatorias and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area have stabilised.


In the Equatorias, the project supports the efforts of small-scale farmers to increase the production of key staple foods and vegetables. In Farmer Field Schools, they learn about innovative cultivation methods as well as ways to reduce post-harvest losses. They receive seeds and small tools, and are trained in techniques for local seed multiplication. The project also encourages the formation of producer associations.

In the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, animal husbandry plays a vital role in securing livelihoods. The project carries out vaccination campaigns, trains local animal health workers and restores watering places for cattle on grazing grounds. It is improving the supply of drinking water for the population by rehabilitating and drilling (deep) wells. It also works towards increasing agricultural production and encouraging people to grow a variety of vegetables and staple foods.

This project is part of the special initiative ‘Tackling the root causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees’. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has been running this initiative since 2014 as a means of providing funds at short notice to support refugees and their host communities, and to remove the long-term structural causes of displacement, such as poverty, inequality and food insecurity. Above all, it supports projects in developing countries that are particularly badly hit by refugee crises.


  • In the Equatorias, the Farmer Field Schools have been reorganised and entrusted to the hands of 'lead farmers'. These ‘best farmers’ in a village were chosen on the basis of their agricultural skills and acceptance by the small-scale farmers. This has considerably enhanced the smallholders’ sense of ownership of the schools; a sustainable, independent system of agricultural extension and knowledge transfer has been established in the communities.
  • By stepping up the use of ploughs, abandoned areas are now being used for production again and the quality of soil tillage has considerably improved.
  • Agricultural production is being strengthened by networking the smallholder households with agricultural service providers, particularly seed traders. Owing to the links to local seed traders, rural communities increasingly have access to high-quality seed and to expert advice from the traders.
  • A total of 10,000 vouchers for agricultural services and products have been distributed under a financing agreement with Welthungerhilfe, thus sustainably increasing agricultural production and boosting the local economy through the injection of additional money.
  • Welthungerhilfe on behalf of GIZ reached almost 1,400 smallholder households with training activities relating to the cultivation of vegetables.
  • In Greater Pibor, eight new and 42 rehabilitated (deep) wells have improved the drinking water supply. Around 9,500 households with approximately 66,000 people use the wells. This measure was implemented by the Polish non-governmental organisation Polska Akcja Humanitarna under a financing agreement.
  • On behalf of GIZ, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Germany vaccinated some 68,000 animals (cattle, goats and sheep) and provided veterinary treatment for around 93,000 animals. These activities combined with training for more than 30 local veterinary assistants help to improve animal health and stabilise livelihoods.