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International Partnerships

South Sudan

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, following decades of civil war. The country has since suffered from an internal armed conflict, which has led to widespread violence until the signature of a revitalised peace agreement in September 2018.

Since then a ceasefire is largely holding, however there are still steps to be made to form an inclusive Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity.

South Sudan is part of the group of Least Developed Countries. The development challenges for the newest country in the world are huge, aggravated by the legacies of war, frequent local violence and lack of modern infrastructures.

Of the estimated 12 million inhabitants, around 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and around half of the population is severely food insecure. More than 2 million sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

Our priorities

The EU is committed to support the South Sudanese population, including South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries, and to promote long-term social and economic human development, peace and stability in South Sudan. The main objectives of EU cooperation since the country was born have been to:

  • promote rural development and food security
  • support equal access to education and health
  • enhance Rule of Law, Democracy, Civil Society, Human Rights and Reconciliation (including peace agreement support)
  • support the peace process

Providing aid is particularly complex in South Sudan as the country does not have a cooperation agreement with the EU and access is difficult in many parts of the country, this also affects humanitarian and development operators.

Our impact


  • 2 key monitoring mechanisms of the peace agreement function thanks to critical support by the EU.


  • capacity building of over 300 chiefs and 70 court clerks in 45 customary courts, involving more than 500 community representatives. Over 1,500 customary court cases supported.
  • Rule of law actors: since 2018 capacity building has  taken place for  200 legal professionals.


  • The EU has supported the South Sudanese accession process to East African Community and ongoing regulatory alignment.

Rural development

  • Approximately 270 kilometres of rural roads constructed.
  • Between 2014 and 2018, smallholder producers supported increased the yields of 140%, 138% and 94% for sorghum, groundnuts and maize respectively.
  • 3,000 households have an improved quality of food with an increase of 50% of their overall food production.
  • Over 20,000 farming households nationwide received training and support resulting in about 14,000 hectares of land being newly put under crop production.
  • 7,800 rural families have benefitted from access to finance programmes.
  • 22,435 women of reproductive age, adolescent girls and children under 5 were reached by nutrition related interventions.


  • 30,000 primary school teachers are receiving monthly salary incentives, thus ensuring more regular schooling to approximately 1.5 million students countrywide.
  • 62,177 vulnerable children (29,305 female) have received learning materials.
  • 20,000 adolescent girls have received menstrual hygiene management kits to support their regular attendance at school.
  • 67,296 students are receiving daily meals in 140 schools.
  • 5,857 youth (50 with disabilities) are enrolled in technical and vocational courses for improved life skills.
  • 578 persons with disabilities engage in livelihood activities, and 300 children with disabilities are attending primary school.


  • number of child outpatient curative consultations has doubled to 2.6 million per year.
  • increased vaccination coverage substantially; ex. from 38% to 60% for measles.

Our programmes

South Sudan has benefited from funding of approximately €1 billion from the European Union since its independence in 2011, not including additional funding from individual EU Member States. Approximately half of the EU support was in the form of humanitarian assistance.

The European Union’s ongoing projects amount to approximately € 250 million. Many of the development projects are carried out through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). 

The EU also promotes security and development through the African Peace Facility, thematic budget lines, and Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).

Our support has focused on providing better access to basic services, improving local infrastructure, increasing the resilience capacity of the population and supporting the peace process.