The situation in South Sudan presents a grim picture. In 2016, the conflict spread further across the country. Formerly non-affected areas have also become theatres of war. Especially in the southern Equatoria states, large-scale and partly ethnically motivated violence took root. The physical security of all ethnic groups was severely affected. In addition, the conflict was the main driver of famine and increasing flows of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) and refugees. In July 2016, an escalation of violence in the capital of Juba led to the evacuation of most of the implementing partners' international staff. It took several months before activities resumed and projects were back on track. South Sudan is experiencing one of the world's biggest humanitarian crises, which is aggravated by macroeconomic factors. The civil war, hyperinflation due to shrinking government revenue and huge budget deficits have contributed to the increasing socio-economic hardship of the people and a severe economic crisis. Many more people would have starved or been on the brink of starvation without the continuation of donor-sponsored humanitarian assistance. The Dutch programme focuses on helping to create the conditions for peace and reconciliation, and helping to keep certain key services to the public in place, particularly in water and agriculture. As can be expected in this kind of working environment, the programme results have been affected by the insecurity in many areas and by the economic crisis. Nevertheless, the Dutch development programme did achieve results in the areas of security and rule of law, food security and water, thus demonstrating the added value of Dutch development contributions, apart from the fact that withdrawing from South Sudan would mean turning our back on a population that needs the support of the international community.

Featured project

Water in South Sudan

The embassy considers it significant that its two water projects in 2016 reached 200,000 people with drinking water and sanitation facilities, helping them to improve their health conditions and increase their income. In Lakes State, this has enabled them to avoid entering higher categories of food insecurity, despite the economic downturn, and has contributed to relative stability in the area.

Key results of the embassy in South Sudan

Security & Rule of Law

Indicator Score Progress

Number of people with improved access to legal proceedings through a legal institution (formal or informal)

6,169 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The main focus of the embassy's Rule of Law and Access to Justice programme has been on strengthening institutions and increasing the possibilities for people to access courts and present their cases. In 2016, the programme further supported rule of law institutions in delivering accountable, effective and equitable justice services. It increasingly focused on preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence and, lastly, greater emphasis was placed on strengthening protection of and respect for human rights and on transitional justice mechanisms to monitor and respond to the promotion and protection of citizen's rights. Due to the escalation of violence in July 2016, the UNDP Access to Justice and Rule of Law Programme has suffered a setback. Despite these changing circumstances, implementing partners have been able to adapt their activities and regain momentum.

Food & Nutrition Security

Indicator Score Progress

Number of farmers with increased productivity and income

19,458 Progress, not on track
Number of farmers
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

A considerable number of farmers was reached in 2016, mainly through the IFAD Livelihood Development Project, the Agribusiness project and the Seeds project. Since all projects focus (partly) on the Equatorias, which is, in principle, the bread basket of the country but also the area in which hostilities increased considerably during 2016, some activities had to be suspended and results were poorer than anticipated. Farmers have also been reached through the World Food Programme (WFP) Feeder Roads project but, due to the prevailing insecurity, WFP has not been able to properly monitor progress. The programme has contributed positively to agricultural production in South Sudan and the strengthening of the private sector, and has thus helped to prevent an even steeper decline


Indicator Score Progress

Number of people with access to better water resources

193,518 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

In 2016, great progress was made in making water available through newly drilled water holes and in the installation of water user committees in the Lakes and Eastern Equatoria states. Both projects suffered from a downturn after the July 2016 crisis but resumed again in the autumn of 2016 and still reached their targets. Sustainability, through the formation of water user committees, is a point of attention which is now being addressed.

Number of people with access to better sanitation and info on hygienic living conditions

20,633 Progress, not on track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The provision of improved sanitation facilities and information on hygienic living has been carried out mainly through a Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach. Water user committees were also involved in the promotion of hygiene. The uptake of improved sanitation practices and hygienic living principles remains low among the targeted population, due to entrenched cultural factors requiring continued follow-up in order to secure a sustainable outcome. The July 2016 crisis also significantly affected progress on this indicator. The formation of water user committees and the training of hygiene promoters is expected to improve performance in 2017.

Background & future

Interpretation of the results in context

The modest differences between planned and achieved results in 2016 can be attributed to the eruption of violence in July 2016 and the insecurity in the project regions. In general, it is admirable how much the teams hired by the embassy and the NGOs to whose activities the embassy contributed have accomplished in 2016, adapting their plans regularly in response to developments in the various counties and states in which they work.

Glimpse into the future

Assuming that conditions in South Sudan do not change significantly over the coming year, the Dutch programme will maintain its present focus. Given the increasing food insecurity and depending on budget availability, the embassy intends to join the multi-donor-supported efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), to help arable farmers, cattle farmers and fishermen keep their businesses running by providing seeds, tools, kits and advice in areas affected by hostilities and heavy economic downturn.

Financial summary

Total expenditure Embassy € 13,675,002

Expenditure 2016 per theme

Expenditure 2016 per channel