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Working in Crises and Conflict

South Sudan crisis
U.S. food aid supports communities displaced by conflict

Conflict Mitigation and Prevention

USAID programs work to address the causes of conflict and promote conditions for peace and community security in conflict-prone regions of South Sudan. This includes supporting the establishment of community-based conflict mitigation mechanisms, inclusive of local leaders, women and youth, which build democratic processes for addressing conflict without violence.

Government presence is minimal in many tribal border areas where conflict often occurs. Some areas are completely cut off during the rainy season due to a lack of roads. In order to support the ability of local government to deliver services and security in areas of high instability, USAID is providing authorities with a wide range of resources to monitor, manage and mitigate conflict.

Activities include supporting the distribution of equipment and materials for communication and transport, which ranges from high-frequency radios and satellite phones to motorcycles and fuel. This equipment increases the visibility and mobility of the local government; facilitates better communication between the state capitals, county commissioners, and isolated villages; and enables the authorities to engage in conflict prevention during the dry season, near migration routes, and between tribal border zones. USAID also sponsors the construction and rehabilitation of county headquarters buildings to improve the working environment for authorities in conflict-prone areas.

The seasonal migration of nomadic groups into South Sudan heightens competition and confrontation between host communities and pastoralists over access to limited natural resources. To reduce conflict between these communities, USAID supports grassroots dialogue and helps increase access to scarce natural resources on both sides of the border. During the 2010 migration, for example, USAID supported the clearance of sedimentary blockages along the Bahr el Ghazal and Bahr el Arab rivers in an effort to increase access to water in Unity State, reducing the need for migration.

Humanitarian Assistance

USAID responds with lifesaving assistance to the urgent needs of those displaced and affected by conflicts, including those displaced by conflict in the Sudan-South Sudan border region and other emergencies, such as floods and droughts. This assistance includes food aid; cooking, shelter, and basic hygiene materials; and livelihood activities. USAID is also assisting many of the hundreds of thousands of Sudanese of southern origin who have returned from Sudan to their home areas in South Sudan before and since the January 2011 referendum. This includes helping returnees to reach their home areas, providing livelihoods support to help them begin productive lives in South Sudan, and supporting essential services, including food security, shelter, water, health, and sanitation in states with the largest numbers of southern returnees.

Last updated: January 17, 2014

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