Highlighted results

202,344 people gained access to safe drinking water

609 community level WASH institutions strengthened to manage WASH facilities

69,244 people were lifted out of undernourishment and gained access to diverse food sources

1,641 people had their livelihoods strengthened and became more resilient to shocks

3,971 people (1,762 female) gained access to justice, which exceeds the target of 2,000 people

Additional sources


Overview of projects in South Sudan

Factsheet Multiannual Country Strategy South Sudan

Factsheet on the efforts of The Netherlands from 2019 to 2022


In 2011, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, marking an end to Africa's longest-running civil war. Two years later, however, violent conflict broke out in South Sudan after political disagreement between the President and his Deputy. The civil war led to the death of almost 400,000 people between 2013 and 2018. A revitalised peace agreement was signed in September 2018 but since then the parties have missed two deadlines to form a government of national unity.

The current ceasefire offers hope and opportunities but poverty and humanitarian needs remain high. Of the estimated 11 million South Sudanese, more than 7 million need emergency aid. The civil war has led to more than two million refugees in the region and two million displaced persons within the country.

The Netherlands has always used its voice to support the people of South Sudan. During its membership of the UN Security Council, for example, the Netherlands contributed to resolutions that addressed political as well as socio-economic challenges in South Sudan. Developments in South Sudan and the issue of gender-based violence are still on the Security Council’s agenda.

Dutch commitment was shown through its development programmes in the fields of security, peace building, rule of law, access to clean water, food and nutrition security, humanitarian aid and climate adaptation. The Netherlands focuses its resilience activities on local initiatives in regions where there is a reasonable and tenable degree of stability; so-called hubs of stability.

Results 2019

Humanitarian work has focused on “helping those who cannot help themselves”. This assistance was on the right track to make people more resilient but had a setback in the form of the huge floods in South Sudan in 2019. Our development-oriented programmes aim to “help people to help themselves”, which means assisting people with farming (food security), access to water and access to justice.

Results by theme

Water Food security Security and rule of Law


The results in context

Access to safe drinking water, safely managed sanitation and hygiene services remains a huge challenge in South Sudan due to political instability, poor cultural practices and humanitarian dependency. The country has suffered from civil war since 2013, which has significantly reduced the capacity of the government to provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. Currently, an estimated 50% of the population in South Sudan has no access to safe drinking water, 90% cannot access safely managed sanitation services and 61% still practice open defecation. As a result, an estimated 60% of common causes of illnesses in South Sudan are a direct result of poor WASH services.

Since 2013, the Netherlands has targeted the Lakes and Eastern Equatoria regions in South Sudan with the sustainable supply of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene services with active community participation. These services were provided through the construction and rehabilitation of hand pumps, small water distribution systems and the protection of wells and springs to provide a safe water supply, while sanitation services were provided through the community-led construction of latrines. To ensure sustainability, communities are engaged to contribute towards operation and maintenance. As a result of the Netherlands’ interventions in the Lakes (Euroconsult/Mott MacDonald) and Eastern Equatoria (Niras International) regions, cases of diarrheal diseases have fallen by 34% and 56%, respectively, since November 2013.



Number of people using safely managed drinking water services




On track

More than 50% of people in South Sudan do not have access to safe drinking water and even the available water facilities are not all functional. Between 30 and 50% of water facilities in the country are non-functioning.

To address this challenge, the Netherlands constructs and rehabilitates hand pumps (boreholes), small water distribution systems, springs and wells, mainly in rural areas. This is accompanied by the formation and training of water management committees for each water point provided, which are responsible for the day-to-day management of the water facilities.

Access to sustainable safe drinking water is a major challenge for communities, particularly in rural South Sudan, which are regularly forced to depend on unsafe water from streams, rivers and pools for drinking. Even the lucky ones with boreholes in the area sometimes have to walk long distances to fetch water for the household, which can often take all day. The worst affected are women and girls who are traditionally responsible for fetching water for their households. This has limited the ability of women to take part in other economic activities and reduced the chances of girls attending school.

The Netherlands’ support is aimed at not only providing safe drinking water facilities but also ensuring that the water facilities provided remain functional. This involves active community participation, ownership and financial contribution. In 2019, more than 609 community institutions were strengthened and 73 village loan and saving associations were formed, trained and strengthened to provide a financial base for contributing to a sustainable water supply.

Community Based Organisations were the main implementers in both regions in which Dutch support is active and this collaboration proved vital, as many of these organisations recruited local staff who understand local customs and cultural practices, and were instrumental in passing on appropriate behaviour change messages in relation to community ownership and financial support for the operation and maintenance of water facilities. This led to a quick uptake of the sustainability approach advanced through the Netherlands support.


Number of people using safely managed sanitation services, including hand washing with soap.




Progress, not on track

An estimated 90% of South Sudanese people do not have access to improved sanitation facilities and, as a result, 61% practice open defecation. In 2019, addressing issues related to sanitation was an increasing challenge due to the fact that sanitation became a secondary priority for many communities. Most people struggled to meet their immediate basic needs, such as food, water and shelter. This made it difficult to achieve the desired results.

Access to sanitation in South Sudan continues to lag behind due to a combination of the ongoing conflict, poor cultural practices and strong incidence of poverty in communities.

The Netherlands has been actively supporting communities in constructing their latrines using local materials. This has two advantages. Firstly, this approach is much more sustainable, as communities do not have to import materials for constructing their latrines. Secondly, it reduces aid dependency and has a positive long-term impact on sanitation service delivery in South Sudan.

In a context such as South Sudan, however, asking communities to construct their own latrines is quite a challenging and time-consuming exercise, as it requires long-term community sensitisation, capacity building and rigorous monitoring to achieve results. The high incidence of poverty among the local populations has also made it difficult for communities to prioritise sanitation, as they struggle to find safe drinking water, food and shelter.


Number of WASH organisations strengthened




On track

Sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene services has been a chronic problem in South Sudan, partly due to the weak institutional capacity to manage the services that have been provided. This means that most water facilities are not properly managed, leading to frequent breakdowns and lack of funds to make repairs.

The Netherlands focused its safe water supply activity on not only providing hand pumps and water distribution systems but also on supporting community-level institutional structures in managing the water facilities provided by the projects.

In South Sudan, where between 30 and 50% of all water facilities are non-functional, strengthening institutional capacity to manage these water facilities is critical. Non-functionality is a consequence of multiple challenges, ranging from weak government institutions, as a result of civil conflict in the country, to poor community capacity to take charge of the basic management of water facilities.

The Netherlands’ support to safe water supply is accompanied by capacity building of community-level institutions, commonly known as water management committees. This aimed to build bottom-up capacity for sustainable water services management. The water management committees are responsible for the day-to-day management of water facilities, including the collection, management and proper utilisation of funds to maintain the water facilities.

As a result, the number of boreholes repaired within three weeks has increased from 56% before the start of Dutch interventions to 93% in project areas. Women are now able to actively take part in other economic activities and girls can attend school, as they do not need to spend hours finding and fetching water.

Food security

The results in context

In South Sudan, about 80% of the population lives in rural areas with livelihoods that revolve mostly around arable or livestock farming. Female-headed households make up a significant number of the (rural) poor and women play a key role in agriculture. Livelihood sources differ across the various communities and can often generate conflict, including conflicts over land use and water, which have occasionally been aggravated by the large influx of returnees.

The agricultural sector is confronted with a number of interrelated challenges, such as post-conflict resettlement and rehabilitation of communities, low productivity, threats from pests and diseases, lack of quality seeds, inadequate rural infrastructure and market access, limited trained human resources and institutional capacities, inadequate agricultural services and very limited public and private sector investment. Agriculture is largely rain-fed, which also makes the country more vulnerable to climate change. Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2013, the food security situation in the country has worsened with 60% of the population food insecure and malnutrition at high rate.

In order to respond to the food insecurity crisis, the Netherlands focused on resilience building through value chains and seed development to increase crop production. Also, strong links between humanitarian assistance and recovery assistance were reinforced through the Emergency, Livelihoods and Resilience Programme (ELRP, FAO).

During the conflict, the Netherlands has been one of the few donors still active in private sector development, using innovative finance instruments to support SMEs in value chains with a specific focus on Women and Youth (Youth and Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurship programme/Spark). Through projects like this, technical and business services support has been provided to farmers to assist them in increasing their income.

Through the Netherlands’ interventions and support (Seed Sector Development South Sudan/Agra), the beneficiaries were able to access quality seeds to produce food for their own consumption. The Netherlands’ involvement also helped to improve food intake through nutrition schemes. All of this together has led to the basic needs of communities being better addressed, and improved opportunities to generate an income.



Number of people with improved access to healthy/diverse food




On track

As mentioned above, the food security situation in South Sudan has worsened due to the conflict and the country has a high malnutrition rate. The ELRP project therefore specifically focuses on improving access to healthy diverse food, including the provision of vouchers for nutritious food like fish, milk and vegetables; the establishment of kitchen gardens; and offering nutrition education on various topics (e.g. cooking techniques, construction of solar dryers, food processing and preservation, gardening techniques and good fish production practices).

Based on the results achieved, the ELRP project was able to support the most vulnerable group of women and children with access to and the availability of nutritious foods. The project also helped to educate women on the importance of a healthy diet by introducing kitchen gardens and providing vegetable seeds. Local markets were stimulated through the voucher schemes, which increased trade and therefore the income of traders.

It has also been widely acknowledged that projects such as ELRP are the bridging the gap between humanitarian assistance and development. Through this project, the beneficiaries were able to restart and improve their livelihoods by producing their own food, through the provision of seeds and tools. Beneficiaries were also provided with technical support on good agriculture practices to enhance their knowledge.

The Netherlands will continue to support the ELRP project in 2020, considering the satisfactory results achieved.

69,264 people

Number of family farms (crop/livestock/fish producers) with improved access to input and/or output markets




On track

In South Sudan, one of the main factors hindering agriculture sector development is access to quality seeds. The projects mentioned below provided vulnerable groups with adapted rapid response kits, comprising quick maturing seeds, agricultural hand tools and fishing kits, enabling households to produce food for their own consumption. They also provide technical support on general agricultural practices, in order to enhance farmers’ productivity and increase production.

As mentioned above, it has been critical for farmers to access quality seeds to increase production. Through the Netherlands’ interventions, this was achieved with 23,444 family farms gaining improved access to inputs. In addition, the SSD4SS project was able to support the private sector in producing and selling seeds directly to farmers.

Through the provision of seeds along with technical support, farmers were able to increase production for their own consumption as well as increase income. The projects performed well based on the overall planning and targets.

23,444 family farms

Security and rule of Law

The results in context

Since the outbreak of South Sudan’s civil war on 15 December 2013, the political and ethnic fault lines, which underpin the conflict, have led to recurrent killings and abuses of civilians. Many people are frequently exposed to human rights abuses, harassment, abduction, forced recruitment into armed groups, extrajudicial killings and sexual and gender-based violence, as well as the confiscation and destruction of property. Strengthening the rule of law and access to justice is essential to curb impunity.

The conflict resulted in poor relations between communities, civilians and authorities. To reduce the tensions and violence, peace-building initiatives on a local level are essential to encourage mutual understanding between communities and improve service delivery by authorities (Community Security Programme/Saferworld). Together with other development-related interventions, this is necessary for people’s resilience and development.

The country has seen an increased prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) since the war began in 2013. This has left a traumatic legacy, not only for individual survivors but also for entire communities. Often, women are disempowered and deprived of their rights and voice, which increases their vulnerability. Moreover, women are often unaware of their rights and lack legal protection and access to mechanisms through which their grievances can be addressed.

The Netherlands supports peace-building initiatives, improvement of the position of women and girls (promoting women’s role in peace building and gender-based violence prevention/Non-violent Peaceforce) and strengthening the rule of law and access to justice (A2J and RoL/UNDP) in South Sudan, and works with multiple partners, such as international NGOs.



Percentage of beneficiaries that received services by formal and informal authorities with regard to human security




On track

79% of the beneficiaries reported that law enforcement and judicial services are providing effective/fair treatment to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors.

Good results were achieved, despite rampant abuse of women's rights and GBV in South Sudan.

Through this project, implemented by Nonviolent Peaceforce, the Netherlands supports direct protection, raising awareness for behavioral change and GBV topics, capacity building of community-based protection mechanisms and co-ordination and advocacy at local and national level.

A combination of activities contribute to providing an environment that is free from everyday violence, where the rights of women and girls are respected, and their participation and decision making on peace building, protection and security issues is promoted.

Key achievements under this programme include 36,932 beneficiaries being reached through awareness-raising activities on behavioural change and GBV topics. Accompaniment and referrals for support after incidents assisted 520 beneficiaries. A total of 2,637 men and boys and 4,841 women and girls were supported through training and capacity building activities on advocacy, communication and co-ordination on GBV-related issues.


Number of beneficiaries with access to justice




On track

Under the UNDP/Access to Justice and Rule of Law programme, almost 4,000 beneficiaries gained access to justice, including 1,762 female beneficiaries presenting cases of sexual violence or domestic abuse to courts and other judicial service providers.

The Access to Justice and Rule of Law (A2J/RoL) project operates in a conflict context and in a new state with non-functional institutions. Through UNDP, the Netherlands supports the capacity building and mechanisms of rule of law institutions. In addition, the Netherlands supports the increased demand for access to justice at community level, through rights-based interventions such as the establishment of a GBV and Juvenile court.

Despite the fragility of the country, the results achieved are encouraging, as they exceed the target set. Key achievements were increased access to justice through legal aid provision, including legal advice, legal consultations and legal representation before courts. Working through Justice and Confidence Centres (JCCs), public legal awareness was raised and community outreach took place at grassroots level by disseminating tailored legal information, resulting in increased uptake of legal services by citizens.

Legal bills were drafted, legislative reviews took place and a constitutional litigation manual was drafted. The latter serves as resource material for legal-aid providers (lawyers, judges) to promote access to justice, protect vulnerable groups and stimulate constitutional legislation.

Counselling, trauma and psychological support, as well as links to other survivor response mechanisms, were provided to 1,118 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

By establishing a national task force on case management and building its capacity, evidence­based case management in the justice sector became transparent and was enhanced.

Background and future South Sudan


The key areas of Dutch interventions are in the three policy pillars of: Security and Rule of Law, Water and Food Security.

The Netherlands supports the strengthening of human rights and justice, in relation to the transition to a peaceful and lawful society. This involves the physical and legal protection of people and communities, ensuring legal representation, access to justice and empowerment of communities. The programmes work to develop the capacity of justice and law enforcement institutions, and ensure that security providers are subject to civilian oversight. Emphasis is placed on tackling sexual and gender-based violence.

Half (50%) of the South Sudanese population has no access to safe drinking water and 90% of the population do not have access to improved sanitation facilities, while 61% still practice open defecation. The Netherlands, as one of the main donors in this sector, has been providing sustainable safe drinking water sources, improved sanitation services and hygiene education to two regions with a combined population of roughly two million South Sudanese.

The food security situation in South Sudan remains critical with more than 60% of the population facing severe food insecurity. The Netherlands’ focus has been on building the resilience of communities through support for the production of local seeds, access to road infrastructure and finance, and capacity development and job creation.

Glimpse into the future

In February 2020, a government of national unity was finally formed. Based on the policy of this new government, we will assess how we can best engage to ensure that government services are delivered to the people of South Sudan. There will be a need for sound public finance management and transparency. In addition, former fighters will leave the army and be on the lookout for jobs. Job creation through skills acquisition and other forms of education will become increasingly important.

The area-based ‘hubs’ approach was developed to deliver recovery and resilience interventions in South Sudan. This approach targets the implementation of resilience activities in more stable areas and is part of a wider approach that includes multiple donors, called the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR). The area-based approach can also be implemented in other parts of the country, once they become more stable. Through humanitarian aid and programmes focused on stabilisation, the Netherlands is also active in less stable areas. To take a more geographically balanced approach, the Netherlands intends to support stabilisation activities in areas outside the hubs.

The aim is to help South Sudanese people to become self-reliant as much and as quickly as possible, and in the most cost-effective way. If the peace agreement holds, it should lead to more stability and thus more resilience to all kinds of shocks in South Sudan in the near future. The specific focus of future Dutch programmes will be on food security, water, job creation and rule of law, including the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is most likely severe. The extent to which this affects our current and future projects is still unknown.

Additional sources

You can find how the budget was allocated in 2019 and which projects were funded on the budget website.

  1. Visit the website
    Programme budget Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  2. Select financial year 2019
Facebook page

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Embassy of South Sudan

Visit the Embassy in South Sudan website

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in South Sudan

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in South Sudan

Results Security and rule of Law

Download PDF with results for Security and rule of Law in South Sudan

Expenditure Embassy by channel


Expenditure Embassy by theme


The budget in this figure is for the year 2019 and does not completely correspond with the results on this page, which have been collected between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019. More information on this can be found on the 'About the results report' page.