South Sudan’s 2011 Independence from Sudan; was preceded by decades of civil war, conflict, political and economic turmoil that displaced and disrupted lives and livelihoods. Not long after independence, the newly formed nation was plunged into civil war in late 2013 and another resurgence of armed conflict in July 2016 following collapse of comprehensive peace agreement signed in 2015. As a result, over 2.2 million South Sudanese were driven from their homes and are currently displaced in other countries. Even though a fragile and conflict state; South Sudan is home to approximately 299, 315 refugees, 1,47 million IDPs and approximately 262, 876 spontaneous refugee returnees.
The complex and protracted nature of refugee situations coupled with immense needs unmatched with available resources; has necessitated a need for comprehensive response anchored on resilience of refugees and hosting communities The current UNHCR South Sudan Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion strategy situates itself within the framework of the new approaches following the external evaluation of 2016 to 2018 UNHCR South Sudan livelihoods strategy conducted. The strategy takes into account the major shifts underway that includes but not limited to: Global Compact of Refugees, cashbased interventions programming, Global Alliance for Economic Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation Coalition and dynamics in the current operational context following the launch of National Development Strategy July 2018 – June 2021, United Nations Cooperation Framework 2019 -2021 and formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in February 2020. With a focus on food security, jobs and livelihoods and acknowledging the need to ease burden on hosting communities; the current strategy draws inspiration from UNHCR Global Strategy concept note 2019 to 2034 and envisions ‘inclusive economic opportunities and equitable socio-economic development in refugee hosting areas.
The Theory of Change for proposed strategy is based on resilience framework with linkages to refugees’ economic inclusion interventions, protection and solutions. The 3-year strategy will focus on consolidating gains achieved during 2016 to 2018 implementation year; strengthening absorptive and transformative capacity; and promoting adaptive capacity through existing UNHCR partners and leveraging resources from additional partners with multi-year development resources that can operate at scale.