International Cooperation

Country Programme of South Sudan

Since the outbreak of the violent conflict in June 2013, South Sudan has been facing one of the most acute humanitarian crises in the world, with over 4 million people uprooted from their homes. Many communities lack access to clean water and sufficient food. Throughout its long engagement in the country, Caritas Switzerland has been addressing these challenges by implementing projects to help the people recover their livelihoods and combat poverty. At the same time Caritas Switzerland maintains its capacity to react fast to humanitarian crisis in case of need.


Facts and Figures:

  • Engagement in the country since: 1972
  • Mean annual no. of beneficiaries: around 11 500 households or around 70 000 individuals
  • Main donors: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Swiss Solidarity

Key achievements since 2017

  • Rehabilitation of 45 boreholes to ensure the supply of drinking water for the population in rural areas of South Sudan
  • Support to around 1800 women and male caregivers through kitchen gardens which allow them to provide a balanced nutrition for their children
  • Support to 14 schools benefitting around 8000 pupils through improved water and sanitation infrastructure, hygiene awareness, school gardens as well as education in natural resource and waste management 
  • Support to 1500 farmers through agro-ecological trainings as well as seed and tool distributions
  • Preventive measures against the Covid-19 pandemic through emergency support of 3000 households with handwashing equipment as well as information campaigns and hygiene promotion activities

Fields of Activity

Food Security & Markets

The programme of Caritas Switzerland in South Sudan helps affected communities to sustainably manage their natural resources for improved access to food and a balanced nutrition. With this aim, Caritas Switzerland supports smallholder farmers through training in agricultural practices and grain management and the distribution of tools and seeds. Caritas Switzerland also supports mothers or caretakers of malnourished children with kitchen gardens to increase crop diversity and trainings in food processing and nutrition. Furthermore, schools are supported in building and maintaining gardens so that the children can learn about nutrition and food production, in line with the government recommendations.

Caritas Switzerland also aims at increasing the livelihood capacity of vulnerable households through the creation of alternative income-generating opportunities. By integrating smallholder farmers and business holders into the market system and linking them with local village saving / loan associations, they are enabled to sell their goods on the local markets and generate income.

Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction

Over 80 percent of the people in South Sudan live below the national poverty line. Due to lack of resources and adaptation strategies, they are particularly vulnerable to shifts and shocks caused by climate change and recurring crises. The Caritas Switzerland programme seeks to reduce the dependency of farmers on the increasingly erratic rainfall caused by changing weather patterns by rehabilitating boreholes, introducing alternative water sources such as surface-water harvesting and by promoting efficient irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation. Furthermore, Caritas Switzerland works to address the problem of low-level agricultural production and the lack of rain by supporting farmers to plant drought-tolerant crops. The farmers are trained in climate-resilient agriculture techniques that improve soil quality and strengthen the capacity to absorb shocks such as extreme droughts, thereby reducing their vulnerability.

Caritas Switzerland also engages in the provision of equitable access to safe drinking water, both for the general population as well as in schools. The innovative Blue School concept is applied in the schools to teach good practices in hygiene and sanitation and to sensitize the students in waste management and environmental conservation.


How we work

Caritas Switzerland implements its activities directly with a team of about 30 staff members, based in its two offices in Torit and Ikwotos. Where possible, staff of local NGOs and of the local government departments contribute to and participate in the project activities. Community involvement and participation is incorporated into all components of the project. Agreements are signed at every step of the programme with community leaders and the local authorities, thereby encouraging them to take ownership of the activities. This, together with the inclusion of private sector representatives, forms one of the innovative aspects of the programme and aims at ensuring long-lasting results. It is also one of the objectives of Caritas Switzerland to promote the exchange between private businesses and beneficiaries and to stimulate the local market by bringing together traders and beneficiaries as future providers and purchasers. .

In addition to approaches and mechanisms that address mid- to long-term development aims, the context in South Sudan also calls for the capacity to respond to immediate needs if required. Adopting a Humanitarian-Development-Nexus approach, the South Sudan programme of Caritas Switzerland includes short-term, demand-driven support as well as long-term interventions aiming at sustainability and long-lasting effects.


Selected project(s)


Contact persons