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Improving living conditions

Access to education, healthcare and food

Karte vom Südsudan

As of: 12/2022

Even after gaining independence in 2011, living conditions in South Sudan, the youngest nation in the world, are extremely difficult. The civilian population is threatened with violence in many parts of the country, and thousands of people are killed every year in armed conflicts. Even the comparatively stable regions lack healthcare facilities and schools. Many people, especially women and children, are malnourished. In addition, natural disasters such as droughts and floods repeatedly result in harvests being lost and land becoming uninhabitable. Due to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, food supplies have recently failed to materialise, which has led to high inflation in South Sudan. On behalf of the German Federal Government, KfW is financing a programme to better supply the population with basic services such as food, education, healthcare and sanitary facilities. Particular focus is being placed on women and children.

Project titleStrengthening the resilience of urban communities in South Sudan
Commissioned byCommissioned by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country/RegionSouth Sudan
Project partnersUNICEF, WFP

Current situation

South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. At the beginning of 2022, around 8.9 million people in South Sudan were dependent on humanitarian aid. Only about half of the population has access to clean drinking water. The lack of food, healthcare and water, as well as sanitary facilities, is particularly detrimental to children. It is estimated that 1.3 million children under the age of five are malnourished in South Sudan. Out of every 1,000 children, 99 die before they reach the age of five. Many children do not go to school because they work to help the family survive. It is estimated that around 2.8 million primary school-age children do not attend school. The schools themselves are in poor condition. Around half of them are usable, while others are inadequately equipped. Two-thirds of teachers do not have any training themselves. The quality of the teaching material is very low.

For girls and young women, the lack of education has devastating consequences – they are forced into marriage more often if they do not go to school. The lack of education makes it difficult for them to participate in business activities and so they are unable to generate their own income.

Washing hands under running water from a well
Only one in two people in South Sudan have access to clean drinking water.

Project approach

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW is providing EUR 92 million to improve local living conditions. The multi-sectoral programme is being implemented together with two UN organisations, namely UNICEF Children’s Fund and the World Food Programme (WFP). The project has been in place since 2019, is now in its fourth phase and was first implemented in the cities of Juba, Torit and Yambio, before being expanded to Aweil.

The programme consists of three components. Firstly, schools are built and repaired, and their sanitary facilities improved. A school meal helps to provide the children with sufficient nutrition. Teachers are trained, and the pupils are offered psychosocial support. Topics such as nutrition and health are also included in the teaching content – the children then pass on their new knowledge to their families.

In a second component, women and children are offered vitamins and vaccinations to improve their health. Healthcare facilities are being better equipped.

Thirdly, the income of families is being increased by including them in the implementation of infrastructure measures and the production of food. This also includes cash-for-work activities.

The aim is to strengthen the resilience of the population and, in particular, to offer women and children better living conditions. The project combines short-term measures with long-term measures. The aim is to reduce poverty.


Pupils receive a hot school meal, can use classrooms as protection from sun and rain, and have access to clean drinking water and safe school toilets. The nutrition and health of mothers and children is improved, malnutrition is reduced and diseases are prevented through vaccinations. Support for the local agricultural sector increases families’ incomes and productivity, increasing the availability of food.

The resilience of local communities increases, making them more robust in the face of external shocks such as natural disasters.

The programme is reaching up to 550,000 beneficiaries.

The project contributes to the achievement of these following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:


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