South Sudan

South Sudan has been a priority country for the Swiss Humanitarian Aid since its creation in July 2011. Switzerland mainly focuses on food security and livelihoods, protection of civilians and promotion of human rights, as well as peace- and nation-building.



South Sudan is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. The country lives its fourth year of conflict, marked with violence and massive population displacement in and outside the country. Since February 2017, the state of famine was declared in several parts of the world’s youngest nation. 

Various units of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) together with other Departments of the Confederation are involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and recovery (SDC Humanitarian Aid), development assistance (SDC South Cooperation), conflict resolution support (Human Security Division) and the expertise of staff officers and humanitarian mine clearance specialists (Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport – DDPS).

Food security and livelihood

South Sudan suffers from a chronic lack of food security for a variety of reasons: conflict and violence, rising prices for basic foodstuffs, difficult humanitarian access, logistical constraints and climate change. SDC’s aim is to help securing safe access to food for the most vulnerable and to help producers to become self-sufficient. It supports projects of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), its principal multilateral partners in the food security sector in South Sudan. SDC also contributes to the work of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and international NGOs in training farmers in the diversification of agricultural products in the province of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and in the Equatorias. It also supports food production and income generation for the urban poor in and around Juba is another example of livelihood support.

Agriculture and food security

Protection of civilians and promotion of human rights

SDC aims at ensuring the protection of civilians, focusing on the immediate needs of the most vulnerable victims and displaced persons; and empowering communities to create a safer environment for themselves. The safety of women and children is a matter of particular concern. Gender-responsive interventions and the prevention as well as the response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are priorities. Switzerland is committed to ensure unimpeded access to humanitarian aid for these vulnerable populations.

Furthermore the DDPS has seconded several staff officers as well as humanitarian demining specialists to the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).

Fragility and violence impede poverty reduction

Peace- and nation-building

The Human Security Division (HSD), together with SDC supports peacebuilding efforts in South Sudan. It focusses on the following key areas:

  • Fostering spaces for genuine and inclusive dialogue among South Sudanese constituencies that respond to citizens’ needs for peaceful coexistence, social cohesion, governance, truth, justice and accountability;

  • where possible, support viable and equitable options towards nation-building;

  • ensure greater conflict sensitivity among donors and implementing partners intervening in South Sudan. 

Approach and partners

Switzerland takes a holistic approach by combining humanitarian aid, development cooperation, multilateral instruments, diplomatic measures as well as peace-building approaches. Partners include:

  • International and national NGOs
  • UN Agencies
  • Civil society organisations


The new state of South Sudan was created on 9 July 2011 following several decades of civil war. It became the 193rd member of the United Nations and the 54th member of the African Union. Before this, as early as 1994, the Swiss Humanitarian Aid was assisting victims of war in the region. A Programme Office was set up in Juba in 2006, which in 2011 became a Cooperation Office. The same year it opened a programme office in Aweil, a city located in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, devoted to water and sanitation projects. Early 2017, the SDC decided to close it after the successful completion of all projects.

Current projects

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Allocation of SDC Funding to ICRC Operations in 2020

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2020

SDC funding to ICRC operations allows the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to respond proactively and to provide immediate protection and assistance for people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises.


South Sudan, Caritas Switzerland: Restoration of resilience in livelihoods for rural and semi-urban communities in Torit State

01.10.2019 - 30.09.2022

This project is designed to increase the resilience of women, men and children in Torit State in South Sudan. This will be achieved through improving agricultural production and access to value chains for farmers and small scale businesses. In order to improve productivity and reduce water-related diseases, the project will improve access to water. This will ultimately reduce vulnerability to the threat of food & nutrition insecurity, and bring the target population to engage in increased productivity with financial benefit.

Promoting Inclusive Peacebuilding and Sustainable Livelihoods through Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurship.

01.08.2019 - 31.07.2022

South Sudan finds itself in lasting state of fragility and chronic conflict that has impacted the social fabric of its population. The project will address deeply rooted social aspects of conflict by training and supporting young peacemakers to engage in conflict resolution and community dialogues. Combined with the promotion of youth-led businesses, the project intends to reduce the risk of the youth entering cycles of despairs and violence. Thereby, it contribute to sustainable development and a longer-term stability in South Sudan.

OVCI - Improving nutritional condition of most vulnerable groups in Juba

01.03.2019 - 30.04.2021

Malnutrition among children and other vulnerable groups remains worse as a result of the prevailing food insecurity situation in South Sudan. According to the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for South Sudan, some 1.8 million people – the majority of which are children under five years - face malnutrition. Through this project, Volunteers Organization for International Co-operation (OVCI) intends to address malnutrition of vulnerable children, pregnant and lactating mothers and other destitute persons in Juba County by improving their dietary intake.

SDC Education Fund

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

As part of its increased commitment for Education and of the implementation of SDC’s Education Strategy, the SDC launches an Education Fund in order to incentivize innovation and the application of new approaches in basic education/vocational skills development and through educational activities across sectors. Innovation can have a catalytic effect on the effectiveness of programmes in and through education. Education is a core enabler for sustainable development and is an important lever in Switzerland’s commitment to promote human and economic development, peace and stability. 

Enhancing security coordination and local contextual understanding to increase humanitarian access

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2020

This project aims at enhancing security coordination and local contextual understanding to increase humanitarian access to insecure locations both inside and outside of Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites. Through enhanced understanding of the context, operational threats can be better mitigated by NGOs, facilitating scale-up of programme and service delivery to the affected population in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity States.

Reducing the Prevalence and Impact of Violence in Western Equatoria

01.11.2018 - 28.02.2021

Nonviolent Peaceforce’s (NP) intervention in Mundri County, Western Equatoria State is aimed at reducing the prevalence and impact of violence. Key activities will include conducting patrols in risky areas, protective accompaniments, advocacy, conducting trainings workshops, awareness raising activities etc. Through this intervention, Switzerland contributes to creating sustainable grassroots-led peaceful solutions to conflict, promotion of Human Rights, SGBV prevention and response among conflict affected communities.

Improved food security, nutritional status and incomes among vulnerable households in Juba, South Sudan

01.02.2017 - 31.12.2018

In the current context of economic stress and limited supply of food due to disruption of the main supply routes, urban and peri-urban agriculture in and around areas of Juba provides livelihood opportunities for food production and income generation. The deteriorating situation calls for a two-pronged approach of boosting the agricultural production of nutritious commodities and improving access to the most vulnerable groups who may not be able to produce for their own consumption.

SSD IOM: Regional Information and Coordination Mechanisms for South Sudanese Displacement Dynamics

01.02.2017 - 30.08.2018

Continued conflict, food insecurity and a dire economic situation have increased the scale of displacement both within and outside the country to unprecedented levels, with many sheltering in UN POCS or crossing to neighbouring countries. For humanitarians to be able to respond to the needs of these populations, a better understanding of the displacement dynamics and trends must be developed. IOM’s proposed project will help create a better understanding of the displacement dynamics and trends and enable humanitarians to effectively respond to needs of the populations.

Allocation of SDC Funding to WFP Operations in 2017

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2017

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to WFP operations allows the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond proactively and to provide immediate food assistance in life-threatening situations.

WFP Additional Contribution 2017 to Scale Up Operations in South Sudan in Response to the Hunger Emergency

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2017

On 24 February 2017, SDC/HA pledged an additional allocation of CHF 15 million to support emergency relief operations to help populations facing starvation in parts of Africa (South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and the larger Lake Chad Region) and Yemen. This decision followed a call issued by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 22 February 2017 urging for USD 4.4 billion aid to avert famine for 20 million people who risk starvation in these countries. Out of the CHF 15.0 million, CHF 7 million will be allocated to support WFP’s emergency operations in South Sudan, Nigeria and the larger Lake Chad region, and Yemen.

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