- Population growth
- 2.89 %
- GDP per capita
Italian Cooperation in the country
During these years, the Italian government financed the emergency response in South Sudan through the bilateral and multilateral channels, ordinary and emergency initiatives for a total amount of 17 million euro. A multi-sectoral regional initiative is currently ongoing to deal with the refugee emergency (AID 10876). The initiative in favour of displaced and South Sudanese refugees in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda has been assigned to NGOs in order to enhance the quality of the health, protection and nutrition services, for a total amount of 3,900,000 euros. It includes 10 projects, 4 in South Sudan and 3 in refugee camps in Uganda and 3 in Ethiopia. All projects have been running since August 2017 and they will run until May 2018. Until now the impact of the initiative has been positive, both in terms of presence of Italian NGOs in strategic and in need areas and for the quality and success of the projects themselves.
A second regional emergency initiative has also been approved - Emergency Initiative for South Sudanese Refugees and Internally Displaced People, victims of the humanitarian crisis, and for host communities (AID 11211) - aimed at improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups within the displaced population, refugees and host communities in South Sudan and Uganda with specific reference to food security, health, nutrition, access to water, protection of minors and the fight against gender-based violence. Specifically, the aim is to increase agricultural productivity and promote fair access to basic services, both social and health services, and to social protection and inclusion, for the most vulnerable refugees, displaced and host communities.
Strategic development document in the countryGiving the fragile and complex situation of the country, at the present time South Sudan doesn't have a Strategic development document.
The Italian strategy and the areas of intervention
The new initiative aims to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups of Sudanese refugees, displaced population and host communities in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda, strengthening and promoting equal access to services, enhancing livelihood and supporting the mitigation of the environmental impact of the migration phenomenon. Specifically, the initiative intends to: strengthen the provision of health services, psycho-social and mental health support, educational and training services; improve and diversify livelihoods also thanks to the development of new skills; improve women social and economic conditions; ensure a fair and sustainable access to natural resources to support peaceful coexistence and social inclusion between the most vulnerable refugee population and host communities.
The program's activities will strengthen existing on-site services in refugee camps and host communities, in close cooperation with local authorities and international partners, thus avoiding parallel initiatives and duplication.
As already stated in the 2017-2019 Ethio-Italian Cooperation Framework, even in South Sudan, the gender issue will be taken into account in emergency response scenarios, ensuring that a minimum of 5% of the activities are gender-sensitive. In fact, humanitarian emergencies caused by war or natural disasters have various serious implications on women and girls. With regard to young people, it should be noted the need of developing youth inclusive activities, going beyond the mere social and cultural entertainment, but promoting skills development, arising their interest and keeping them away from dangerous alternatives, such as the return to South Sudan to join armed groups, banditry and, last but not least, drug and alcohol addiction. In particular, the concept of idleness, a state of aimless wandering, common among young people living in the refugee camps, is increasingly being taken as a priority issue to be addressed.
Alignment with the local government strategy and harmonization with donor community interventions
The crisis of the Southern Sudanese peace process, which began in August 2015, and the consequent escalation of the conflict have led to one of the most serious refugee crisis in Africa in the last two years.
During 2017, several appeals were made by the international community; the UN Office for the Coordination of the Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, has already elaborated a Humanitarian Response Plan in South Sudan for 2018 (Humanitarian Response Plan 2018) that requires funds for 1.72 billion USD, identifying 7 million people in need over a total population of around 12 million. The most vulnerable and priority sectors for intervention are: food security (USD 827 million), nutrition (USD 195 million), health (USD 158 million), WASH (USD 155 million), and protection (129 Millions USD).
Moreover, the severe drought that affected the whole Horn of Africa in 2017 further exacerbated the already precarious food security situation in South Sudan and in neighboring countries. The current humanitarian crisis has forced about 4 million people to abandon their homes. According to the latest UNHCR data, there are 1.93 million internally displaced people in the country and 1.83 million people have requested asylum in neighboring countries. In Uganda alone, more than 1.1 million refugees arrived in January 2018. The considerable increase in the number of refugees in the country is due to the extent of conflicts in the Eastern and Central Equatorial regions that obliged people to flee because of starvation subsequent to the forced abandonment from the refugee camps.
On the occasion of the Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees, held in Kampala from 22 to 23 June 2017, the Government has expressly requested international support to finance the response to the refugee emergency.
Despite the fact that Ugandan authorities distinguished themselves for a hospitality programme among the most generous in the world (where refugees are granted full freedom of movement throughout the country, identification documents and the possibility to work), the new flows of refugees are putting a strain on social and economic balance especially in the West Nile region. To date, Uganda welcomes the highest number of refugees among the states of Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Ethiopia; the host communities and the local authorities consequently cannot have the capacity to support this model of welcoming refugees alone, no matter how virtuous it can be.
The size and the numbers of the current refugee emergency require a regional approach to support the services that are already provided in the camps and host communities, taking into account the difficult situation of the refugee camps along the Uganda-South Sudanese border and Ethiopian-South Sudanese. Looking at the South Sudanese refugee issue from a regional perspective will allow to follow up the developments in the creation of this new refugee reception policy in the two countries, comparing the two approaches and the various lessons learned, and reflecting on potential synergies.
During the monitoring missions on the previous emergency programs (AID 10876) the representatives of both the Prime Minister's Office in Uganda and ARRA in Ethiopia expressed their appreciation and support for the current programs, as well as suggestions on the raising of other compelling needs. For example, the issue of environmental protection in the areas of refugee camps: as the Prime Minister's Office in Kampala pointed out, in areas where normally around 700,000 people used to live, nowadays the population is around two million, with a huge impact on natural resources and the environment in general, especially in terms of deforestation, scarcity of water resources, congestion of social and transport infrastructure, etc.
With its strategy Italy intends therefore to give continuity to the commitment made on the issue of displaced people and South Sudanese refugees through previous interventions (AID 10876 and AID 11211), but also to respond to a constantly evolving context, not only for the scope and numbers of the phenomenon itself, but also, and above all, for the new response paradigms that the international community and local governments want to give and which must now be followed, starting with best practices.
Goals and expected results
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The expected results will therefore concern areas of intervention considered as a priority both by local authorities and by the Italian Cooperation, and in particular:
1. Increased quality and access to health services. Improved preventive, curative, nutritional health services and treatment and reference services for health emergencies (with particular attention to obstetric, pediatric and nutritional emergencies);
2. Increased quality and access to psycho-social care and post-traumatic mental health services for the vulnerable population, in particular for people with physical and mental disabilities and for victims of gender-based violence;
3. Strengthened food security and resilience of displaced persons, refugees and host communities, also implementing training actions and fostering skills development;
4. Better access to WASH services for the most vulnerable population and people with disabilities, in particular in social infrastructures (schools, hospitals, youth centers, etc.);
5. Better quality of educational offer and improved access to education, thanks to social entertainment activities and recreational-sporting-recreational activities;
6. Knowledge sharing and good practices on environmental protection promoted among displaced persons, refugees and host communities in order to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and promote a peaceful coexistence.
Direct beneficiaries will be the populations living in the areas selected by the interventions, including both the refugee and displaced population, and the host communities (both in Uganda and in Ethiopia). The initiatives implemented will therefore promote an integrated approach between the two groups, with particular attention to the most vulnerable categories such as children, single mothers, disabled persons and victims of gender-based violence.
Furthermore, activities aimed at human development of displaced persons and refugees will be preferred, also thanks to the acquisition of new skills.
Such approach is fully part of the innovative international commitments regarding the link between emergency and development, undertaken by AICS since 2016. This process has led to the approval of Resolution no. 66 of 19 May 2017 which integrates emergency and development activities, simultaneous and complementary.
AICS development projects
Total resources committed
Total resources used