Since violence broke out in December 2013, around 2 million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries, especially Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya, and another 2 million are internally displaced. The humanitarian crisis resulting from the civil war is further exacerbated by the devastating drought affecting much of the East African region. The population in the world's youngest nation is suffering and is in dire need of support, both to ensure basic food security, human security and rebuild peace.
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement had ended a brutal civil war between North and South Sudan which left the country's infrastructure in tatters and some 1.5 million people dead. Sudan's first multiparty elections since 1986 were concluded and a referendum took place in Southern Sudan in January 2011 on whether the region should remain a part of Sudan or become independent. The Republic of South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July 2011. Peace was short-lived as violence broke out again in December 2013. The peace agreement that was signed in August 2015 have been broken repeatedly with serious violence in the capital in July 2016.
There is a great need for civic education and nation building from community level up, starting from the local level. Civil society must be supported so that it is capable of influencing policies and practices to the benefit of the poor and marginalised. In addition strong accountable governance structures must be built to respond to the immediate needs of the population for building a just and sustainable peace.
Areas of focus
A woman applying mulch to preserve water for her vegetables in Terekeka.
Photo by Scopas/ACORD
ACORD has been working in South Sudan for over forty years. ACORD's overall objective in Southern Sudan is to enable the peoples of Southern Sudan exercise their rights and responsibilities to arrive at just peace and good governance, enjoying improved livelihoods in an inclusive society, capitalising on their social activism. To this end ACORD is implementing the following programmes.
>> Livelihoods: ACORD is improving livelihoods that mainly encompass agriculture, fisheries, livestock and also water and sanitation for agrarian, agro-pastoral and fisher folk communities in Juba and Terekeka, Central Equatoria State through building the production capacity of ‘‘farmer'' associations and sustainable management of natural resources including land and water at community level. Provision of water in rural areas, agricultural inputs, fishery equipment and trainings on improved agricultural and fisheries production techniques, animal production and management; strengthening government capacity, especially at State and Local levels through trainings and basic material support to foster sustainable livelihoods and related service delivery are the main activities. ACORD is also engaged in the National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper process, bringing community concerns to the forefront.
>> Gender: ACORD's main object of the theme is to build knowledge on positive gender relations through effective ways of addressing gender inequality with a view of improving women status in all development aspects. These ways among others include advocacy for women's land rights, campaigns to end impunity on sexual gender base violence (SGBV) and economic empowerment of women through forming and encouraging women groups to practice vegetables gardens and other income generating activities (IGA).
>> HIV and AIDS: ACORD is building capacity at community level for better understanding of the causes and consequences of the pandemic. Influencing policy makers, tribal and religious leaders to combat HIV/AIDS by changing negative traditional practices. Training sessions, workshops, meetings, radio and TV programmes and annual events against AIDS are among the methodologies used to raise awareness and support advocacy campaigns.
>> Peace Building: ACORD is engaged in participatory planning exercises, conflict analysis, mapping, transformation, prevention, and gender-focused analytical framework. In doing so, ACORD engages various stakeholders in peace building processes. Some of these stakeholders include women civil society groups in order to allow them take an active role in the peace building processes, religious leaders and government institutions.
>> Civil Society Capacity Building: ACORD is supporting associations and groups that have a common agenda (e.g. peace and human rights, internally displaced persons, development, people living with HIV, credit and saving groups, FGM abolition). ACORD's has supported these organisations to become legal entities ensuring recognition of these associations by the public and state authorities. ACORD believes that, it is through building the capacity of the above mentioned groups of people who are often neglected and deprived of their rights that they will be able to sustain their existence and advocate for rights.
Where we work
ACORD is implementing a number of projects in Muni, Tombek, Mangala and Terekeka Central Payams all in Terekeka County and Lobonok Payam in Juba County. Both Counties are in Central Equatoria state. We also implement peace building program in Magwi County, Eastern Eqatoria State by providing a community FM radio station as a platform for the peace building processes and other development processes to take place. ACORD has also worked in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Western Equatoria and Warrap states.
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Communities in South Sudan tell their stories
" Jikany and Lou Nuer Communities (Eastern Upper Nile State) continue to need security and economic support from government and non-state actors. These regions have been negatively affected socio-economically by the war activities more than any other areas. The communities from this area suffered from war-induced economic depletion that will take another half century to remedy. Ethiopian access which used to facilitate lives for these communities is no longer what it used to be. The cattle that these communities depended on were depleted as mandatory "taayin" (payment for security) for SPLA Soldiers during the struggle. If these communities were our gate-ways to the activities leading to our current relative peace, we must not neglect them. We must collectively help change their silent predicament". This is a statement from Rondyang in Southern Sudan.
Our partners in South Sudan
ACORD received valuable support from the Dutch Government's FLOW programme and Reconstruction fund and currently the ARC fund, DanChurchAid, HEKS, Inter Pares, Oxfam Novib and Mani Tese. ACORD works in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Forestry, Association of Media Women in South Sudan (AMWISS) and CEPO, as well as DanChurchAid and Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR).
Photos, videos and publications
ACORD South Sudan Programme Overview: Two-page summary of country facts, country priorities, our partners, ACORD in South Sudan, project spotlights, 2016 impact in numbers and contact information, updated June 2017
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Conflict and Gender Study - South Sudan. Addressing Root Causes. Report from research commissioned by ACORD, DCA and CCR consortium in 2017 and financed under the Government of the Netherlands ARC Fund. Author: Dr. Catherine Huser. Executive Summary, objective, methodology, constraints, findings, conclusion and recommendations for programming framework, subtantive annexes. 72 pages. January 2018
Cycles of Violence. Gender Relations and Armed Conflict. What is the impact of war on gender relations, and can gender relations contribute to conflict? Presents the findings of ACORD's research carried out in five communities living in the shadow of violent conflict in Sudan, Angola, Mali, Uganda and Somalia.
Photos of ACORD's work in South Sudan can be sent upon request. Contact us by e-mail.
How you can support communities in South Sudan
Financial donations and in-kind support to ACORD's South Sudan Area Programme go a long way to improving livelihoods and building an inclusive and peaceful society in South Sudan. Commitments and ownership by communities themselves to sustain their own facilities ensures that our programmes have a lasting impact on their livelihoods and their development.
Make a donation now! For more information on our work in South Sudan please sign up to our newsletter, visit your nearest ACORD office or call us.