Results around the world - South Sudan
South Sudan is one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. Following independence in 2011 and the eruption of civil war in 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in a political crisis that has fueled a large-scale humanitarian emergency and led to economic collapse. This crisis continues to undermine the country’s growth and development, threaten regional stability and inflict deep hardships on South Sudanese.
South Sudan ranks 187 out of 189 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2018 Human Development Index. The country’s health indicators are among the worst in the world, while food insecurity and malnutrition have reached unprecedented levels. Half the population in South Sudan is now thought to be severely food insecure, and more than 4 million people—a third of the population—have been driven from their homes, with over half taking refuge in neighbouring countries.
Women and girls face particular challenges, including extremely high rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and maternal mortality. Girls are also more likely to be out of school and to face child, early and forced marriage. The adult literacy rate is only 27%; among children, boys are far more likely to be literate at 60% compared to only 40% of girls.
The Government of Canada has been a key contributor of international assistance to South Sudan since its independence in 2011. Canada’s assistance—which includes humanitarian, development, and peace and security programming—aims to save lives, meet basic needs and protect the dignity of all South Sudanese while helping to create the conditions for lasting peace and sustainable development.
Canada’s international assistance to South Sudan is delivered by Canadian, regional and multilateral partners and targets the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, children and youth. It focuses on:
- addressing the emergency needs of conflict-affected populations, including critical food and nutrition assistance, health, water and sanitation, and protection services
- promoting human dignity, by improving access to quality and gender-sensitive health services, including but not limited to sexual and reproductive health services
- addressing the barriers that prevent women and girls from accessing quality education in South Sudan, as part of the new G7 commitment to improve education for girls in fragile and conflict-affected states
- promoting growth that works for everyone, by reducing food insecurity and strengthening the food self-sufficiency of farmers and their families over the long term
- championing inclusive governance, by supporting human rights and the rule of law, strengthening civil society, building the capacity of local journalists and increasing access to justice—including for victims of SGBV
- promoting gender equality and supporting the empowerment of women and girls, by strengthening the livelihoods of vulnerable women, addressing high rates of SGBV and supporting local women’s rights organizations
- supporting peacebuilding and mediation efforts, including peacekeeper training, preventing the use and recruitment of child soldiers and promoting the meaningful engagement of women in the peace process
Canada’s support to the multi-donor Health Pooled Fund has played a key role in increasing access to basic health services for at-risk populations, particularly women and girls. As of March 2019, the fund has delivered a basic package of health and nutritional services through approximately 1,000 health facilities, reaching more than 11.3 million children under the age of 5. Among other improvements, the number of mothers who delivered their babies in a health facility with a skilled birth attendant increased from 9,000 to 26,000.
With Canada’s support, and in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, 387,195 pregnant women received prenatal care and more than 60,985 safe deliveries were conducted under the supervision of qualified midwives as of March 2019. Forty-five nurses and 174 midwives graduated, and 7,093 health workers, including midwifery and nursing students, were trained on sexual and reproductive health, emergency obstetric care and midwifery. Prenatal care visits were provided to 74,971 women, antenatal care to 235,500 women, newborn care to 58,817 babies, and 20,931 births were attended by a skilled health professional. Four “one-stop centres” were established, providing medical, psychological and legal assistance to victims of SGBV: to date, these centres have assisted 580 survivors. This has helped to significantly enhance access to quality, gender-sensitive health and reproductive services and decrease maternal and infant mortality.
In partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, 34,994 cases (51.9% of whom were women and girls) were treated by medical outreach teams, and 1,512 prenatal care visits were provided to pregnant women by a skilled health provider as of March 2018. More than 46,800 children were treated for malaria, pneumonia or diarrhea, and 260 school girls received reusable sanitary products, which led to their increased participation in schools. In addition, 35,000 community members were provided with safe drinking water through the drilling of 40 new (and 30 rehabilitated) boreholes, and 328 volunteers (including 54 women) were trained in first aid.
Since the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year, Canada’s support, in partnership with the World Food Programme, has helped address the food needs and strengthen the resilience of more than 586,650 chronically food-insecure people. Access to agricultural technologies, tools, land, seeds or services was increased for 105,241 farmers, 56,830 of whom were women. With Canada’s support, household expenditures on food decreased from 73.8% to 34% for targeted female-headed households and from 76.3% to 39% for targeted male-headed households, enabling families to dedicate more resources toward other important expenses, such as health and education.
As of April 2019, two fish market stalls have been constructed and opened with Canada’s support, one in Juba and one in Nimule, providing an average of 3,522 kg of fresh and processed fish daily. This encourages small-business development, increases incomes of fisherfolk and increases the supply of hygienic fresh and dried fish products available in the markets.
As of December 2017, Canada’s support, in partnership with World Vision Canada, CARE Canada and Oxfam Canada, has helped to increase food security for more than 254,000 individuals, 65% of whom were women living in remote rural communities in South Sudan. Between 2015 and 2018, more than 100,000 individuals (64,204 women) benefited from technical services and agricultural inputs through farmer field schools, which helped to increase the percentage of women owning and controlling agricultural assets from 43% to 73% in targeted areas. The percentage of men and women who felt that women were capable of taking a leadership role in decision-making increased from 54.5% to 79%.
With Canada’s support, Journalists for Human Rights delivered the first training program in the country designed for women journalists. As of March 2019, 226 men and women journalists were mentored and trained on human rights reporting within media outlets, with a special focus on the rights of women and girls. In addition, 481 high-quality human rights reports were published, including 250 gender-specific media stories that reached more than 2 million people across South Sudan and the diaspora.
In 2018, through partners such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières and World Vision Canada, Global Affairs Canada helped provide food and nutrition assistance to more than 5 million people, vaccinations to 815,000 vulnerable children and safe drinking water to 560,000 people.
In line with Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, Canada has played a key role in facilitating the meaningful participation of women in the peace process and supporting peacebuilding at the community level. This has included providing grants and technical support to South Sudanese women’s organizations and networks and funding the placement of a gender adviser in the office of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s special envoy to South Sudan (the regional organization mediating the peace process). The gender adviser has played a critical role in ensuring that South Sudanese women have a stronger voice on issues in the peace process that will affect their lives, families and communities.
Canada also provides strong support to key multilateral initiatives—such as the Global Partnership for Education; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance—that are actively working to improve access to basic services in South Sudan.
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