Stabilising the living conditions of children and youth in Boma State, South Sudan
Title: Special initiative aimed at tackling the root causes of displacement and reintegrating refugees: Stabilisation of the living conditions of internally displaced persons, returnees, and local communities in Boma State, especially of vulnerable children, youth and their families.
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Sudan
Overall term: 2017 to 2019
Ever since conflict between government and opposition forces in South Sudan escalated in mid-2016, living conditions throughout the country, which were already precarious, have significantly deteriorated even further. The political and security situation remains volatile, and almost two million people – more than half of them children – have been displaced internally by ongoing combat operations in various parts of the country. In addition, considerably more than two million people have fled to neighbouring countries.
Armed conflicts in South Sudan have always been characterised by serious human rights violations, with children being hardest hit. Sexual violence against women and girls is rife, and children and youth are at high risk of being recruited as child soldiers, including in the intervention area in Boma State. Many have been involved with the army or other armed groups in the past. The living conditions of children, youth and their families and caregivers in Boma State are generally precarious, and characterised by food insecurity, poverty and the loss of production resources due to ongoing violent conflict. Girls face special challenges with respect to gender-based violence, personal security and access to education.
The living conditions of internally displaced children and their families, returnees, and host communities in Boma State are improved.
The project is implemented entirely by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and is based on a project that was established in 2014 to support and stabilise the livelihoods of returnees, internally displaced persons and the local population in the Equatorias and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area in South Sudan.
The project adopts a community-based approach and incorporates lessons learned from previous projects. This integrated approach specifically addresses child protection issues and plays a role in protecting the victims of gender-based violence. In addition, it aims to provide basic training, food security, water and sanitation services, and hygiene education (WASH).
Education services are being developed, youth centres are being established, and the provision of water and basic sanitation services is being improved. Training opportunities are being created for vulnerable children and youth, especially those who are internally displaced, returnees or members of host communities. The short distances involved mean that children can remain in the care of their parents. More youth centres are being established to offer basic skills training, psychosocial counselling, leisure activities and peace-promoting measures.
The 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 removing the long-term structural causes of displacement, such as poverty, inequality and food insecurity.