What a small choice cost millions of lives
South Sudan is almost twice the size of Germany and, according to current estimates, has around 11 million inhabitants. More than half of the population is under the age of 18. After decades of civil war, the country has been independent from Sudan since 2011, making it the youngest state in the world.
South Sudan is one of the fragile states, with a violent conflict that has been fought since 2013, which continues to this day and has already cost around 400,000 lives. Around 2.2 million people have fled to neighboring countries, around 1.5 million had to leave their homes as internally displaced persons.
The conclusion of a peace agreement in 2015 and the formation of a new unity government in 2020 are important milestones for the restoration of peace and the development of the country. In particular, the strong population growth, inadequate infrastructure and lack of institutional structures pose major challenges for the country. Around 50 percent of the people in the country live below the poverty line and are acutely threatened by hunger or malnourished. Almost half of the population has no access to water and sanitation. There is also a lack of basic government services.
GIZ is active in South Sudan on behalf of the German Development Ministry in the following three areas:
- Food security and agricultural development
- Urban water and sanitation
- Rural Development and Governance
In the area of food security, GIZ and its partners work against malnutrition among children and women and raise awareness of health issues. In order to promote agricultural development, GIZ supports smallholder households in resuming their agricultural production through training and further education. In this way, if the harvest is successful, food security can be stabilized.
The federal government supports local water suppliers in four cities in ensuring public drinking water and sanitation supplies and making them affordable and accessible even for low-income population groups. GIZ is participating in the development of water utilities and training the staff in the operation of the facilities. In order to improve the hygienic conditions in schools, sanitary facilities are being expanded and schoolchildren are being made aware of hygiene issues.
In order to develop rural regions over the long term, GIZ advises and supports selected rural districts in providing services in a more direct and needs-oriented manner. The skills of the rural administration are being built up and at the same time the population - especially women - are encouraged to take an active part in the planning and design of their living space.
The Federal Foreign Office is also supporting the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement through GIZ.
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