Mercy Corps is working to improve food security, broaden the capacity of local organizations and accelerate economic development in South Sudan, a newly autonomous region of Africa's largest country, as the culmination of the continent's long-running civil war provides a long-awaited "peace dividend" to the south's 6 million people.
Programs in Focus
Localizing Institutional Capacity in Southern Sudan (LINCSS)
Central to Mercy Corps' work to build on the nation's peace dividend, Mercy Corps is part of a three-year, $8.4-million USAID grant to improve the self-reliance and living standards of the people of South Sudan. Under the LINCSS program, Mercy Corps will:
- Build the organizational capacity of seven local non-governmental organizations working to improve health, education and agricultural productivity;
- Increase water availability, agricultural production and nutrition for 151,000 people; and
- Build ties between North and South Sudan with cross-border projects and opportunities for integrative programming.
Twic & Abyei Rehab, Growth and Economic Transfers Project (TARGET)
In partnership with two local NGOs, SUPRAID and the Abyei Community Action for Development (ACAD), Mercy Corps is addressing the urgent food and livelihood needs of 151,000 returnees, IDPs and vulnerable residents of Twic and Abyei Counties in northern Bahr el-Ghazal. Mercy Corps is piloting similar activities for 1,000 residents of neighboring Mayom County in western Upper Nile.
Abyei County has seen greater conflict, more displacement and less intervention from government or international agencies than most places in Sudan. At different points over the last ten years, up to 70 percent of the Abyei population was displaced.
The program will increase agricultural activity and build household assets, making families and communities more resilient to shocks to their food and livelihood systems.
Twic County Project for Vulnerable Agro-Pastoralists
Mercy Corps and its local NGO partner, Sudan Production Aid (SUPRAID), are jointly implementing a project designed to help 50,000 people, or 20 percent of Twic County's population.
The project, funded by USAID, has two main objectives: to increase the agricultural productivity and incomes of agro-pastoralist households, and to increase their access to market opportunities. In each of three payams (sub-counties) of Twic County, the project will provide training, better information and technical assistance to the farmers in 20 households. Mercy Corps will also rehabilitate roads that need desperate attention to assist sellers in getting their produce to market.
So far, more than 20,000 beneficiaries have been trained on fodder production, forage conservation, nursery management, crop production and integrated pest management.
Emergency Nutritional Program in Southern Sudan Mercy Corps and other partners are improving the health of South Sudanese children aged five and younger through sustainable, enhanced detection and treatment of malnutrition. Using a "positive deviance" model of change, Mercy Corps staff seek out mothers with healthy children who can share their nutrition strategies with peers.