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Key achievements since 2017
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.
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.