Trócaire first started humanitarian work in what was then southern Sudan in 1976.
In the 1980s, the famine in Ethiopia triggered a mass influx of refugees into the region. Trócaire stepped up its work throughout these years to meet emergency food and medical needs of the refugees.
When space for civil society opened up in the mid-1990s, Trócaire had new opportunities to partner with local groups on livelihood and governance programmes, while continuing to support a range of humanitarian projects.
In 2010, Trócaire established its office in Wau, in the Western Bahr el Ghazal state of the country, before moving the office to Juba, the capital city in 2013.
In April 2015 Trócaire and its sister agency in the UK, CAFOD, merged their operations in South Sudan in order to increase programme scale and impact, while reducing administration and support costs.
The new CAFOD and Trócaire in Partnership (CTP) office is based in Juba, with programmes in Western Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile state, Central and Western Equatoria, Lakes state and national level work.
Trócaire’s work in South Sudan is focused on supporting communities affected by conflict and extreme poverty.
We are currently providing humanitarian assistance to thousands of displaced people. In light of large and continually increasing numbers of Internally Displaced Persons, we support these communities with access to safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation facilities and awareness raising, all with the aim to reduce disease and improve quality of life.
Trócaire is also supporting a number of local radio stations which produce weekly radio programmes in English, Arabic and a variety of local languages, focusing on explaining the situation, the peace process and various governance structures and processes to communities who otherwise do not have access to this information.
Trócaire’s long-term work with local partner organisations aims to improve citizens’ engagement and participation in public decision making and promote peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Trócaire works on three programmes areas in South Sudan. We have had to adapt and halt some of these due to the ongoing conflict affecting many parts of the country:
In response to the current crisis in South Sudan, Trócaire is providing food, water and sanitation facilities and livelihood support to thousands of displaced people in Lakes and Upper Nile states. We also provide emergency support in the Nuba Mountains, supplying drugs and medical supplies through the Mother of Mercy Hospital (Gidel hospital) and parish networks.
This programme aims to empower poor and marginal communities in the political decision-making process. Our training and support increases citizens’ awareness and gives them the confidence to hold representatives at local and national level more accountable. Our projects also promote the protection of human rights and specifically women’s rights and freedom of speech, holding authorities who violate those human rights to account. This work also supports peacebuilding and reconciliation in conflict-affected areas by addressing the causes and consequences of conflict.
This programme focuses on improving the livelihoods of poor rural communities, through providing access to safe and clean drinking water, improved hygiene and sanitation facilities, nutrition education and income generating activities such as improved agriculture techniques and links to markets. The programme also promotes awareness on sustainable use and management of natural resources in communities and environmentally-friendly agricultural practices, integrated pest management and solid waste management.
South Sudan is the world’s newest country, achieving independence in 2011 after it was annexed from Sudan.
This occurred after 20 years of civil war between north and south Sudan during which over two million people were killed.
A fresh conflict started in December 2013 which has led to 1.6 million people fleeing their homes. Many are left without adequate shelter, food, water, or sanitation and hygiene facilities.
A peace agreement was signed in August 2015 by the leaders of the two conflicting parties. This has led to the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity.
Tensions between the parties has led to an escalation of violence in Juba in July 2016, causing the displacement of an additional 36,000 people in the immediate aftermath, destruction and looting of homes and markets, and hyperinflation of over 650%.
In September 2016, South Sudan passed the one million mark of officially registered refugees in neighbouring countries. The actual number is very likely to be much higher.
The ongoing crisis in South Sudan is aggravating an already fragile socio‐economic context, in which many households are at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition both in rural and urban centers, including in the capital Juba.
It is estimated that 4.8 million people (40% of the total population) face severe food insecurity countrywide.
South Sudan’s economy has been highly dependent on oil production. With decreasing oil prices, severely reduced production due to recurring fighting in the oil-rich areas and high fees for use of foreign pipelines and refineries, the country’s income has been severely reduced.
Access to land and water near oilfields is also causing further tensions, between conflicting parties at national level as well as between communities.
Very limited state infrastructure, vulnerability to climate shocks and internal migration resulted in up to 4.4 million people needing humanitarian aid in 2014 and 4.1 million in 2015.
Female rights are neglected, with primary school completion rates for girls at only 6%, half that of boys. Overall, 59% of children are not attending school, adult illiteracy is reported to be as high as 73% overall, and 90% for women in rural areas.