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Canada-South Sudan relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada established diplomatic relations with the Republic of South Sudan following the country’s independence on July 9, 2011. Canada opened a bilateral office in 2011, and announced the establishment of a diplomatic mission in Juba in September 2014, appointing its first resident Ambassador in January 2015. South Sudan is represented in Canada by its Embassy based in Washington, D.C.

Canada supports regional and international mediation efforts towards a peaceful and sustainable resolution of conflict in South Sudan. Canadian government representatives have worked to support peace and development, including through early recovery programming, peacekeeping and peace building, and diplomatic efforts to lay the foundation for sustainable development. In addition, Canada provides humanitarian assistance to address the immediate needs of conflict-affected people.

Canada is engaged at multiple levels in the country’s political process for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Canada co-represents the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Partners Forum at the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), the principal oversight body established under the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

Trade relations

In 2022, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and South Sudan totaled $2.1M. Canadian exports were valued $2.1M in 2022 (down 3.8% from 2021) and led by metal and non-metallic mineral products. Canadian imports were valued at $2,000 and were led by Consumer goods. Export Development Canada (EDC) is open to business opportunities in South Sudan, but only on a highly‑restricted and case‑by‑case basis.

Canadian companies active in or interested in doing business in South Sudan must ensure they act in accordance with Canadian sanctions. South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum (MoP) launched the country’s first-ever oil and gas licensing round in June 2021, which could provide opportunities to increase trade relations

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International assistance

Canada has provided over $1.1 billion in international assistance to South Sudan since 2011, with support covering humanitarian assistance, peace and security, as well as development programming. In 2021-2022, Canada provided a total of $137.47M in international assistance, making South Sudan the ninth largest recipient of Canadian aid. Of this amount, $58.08M in bilateral development programming was provided to support investments in health, education, food security and inclusive governance. Canada’s international assistance seeks to take a feminist, conflict-sensitive, human rights-based and triple nexus approach.

To date in 2023, Canada has allocated more than $32M in humanitarian assistance funding to address the life-saving needs of crisis-affected populations in South Sudan. Canada’s gender-responsive humanitarian assistance supports the provision of food, nutrition, health, shelter, water, sanitation and protection, as well as initiatives to meet the specific needs and priorities of women and girls including sexual health and reproductive rights. Moreover, on June 19, 2023, Canada announced an additional $34M in humanitarian assistance funding for the crisis in Sudan and neighbouring countries, including South Sudan. This announcement also included an additional $6 million in development funding to support critical, complementary programming in areas such as education in emergencies and sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response.

Bilaterally, Canada is a leading donor in the health sector, focusing on improving basic health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, training health workers, and promoting the rights of women and girls. Canada is also supporting food security and agricultural development initiatives, improving girls’ education and learning outcomes and the area of inclusive governance, with a particular focus on women and girls.

Peace and security

Canada has been contributing to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), through uniformed peacekeepers (CAF) and via assessed contributions to peacekeeping missions annually since 2011, to consolidate peace and security and help establish conditions for development. The Peace and Stabilization Operations Program has invested over $21M since 2016 to support peacebuilding and conflict prevention programming in South Sudan. Canada also supports community-level conflict prevention efforts within the disputed Abyei Administrative Area.

Current projects in South Sudan are aimed at supporting the national peace process, supporting local-level peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and preventing the recruitment of children in the armed groups and armed forces.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and South Sudan work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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