International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in South Sudan

A mother carries her baby, Juba, South Sudan
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

After a long and brutal civil war, South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9, 2011. The International Rescue Committee has been one of the largest providers of aid in South Sudan for over 20 years. Today we provide more than 700,000 people in the struggling new nation with vital services including healthcare, child survival programs, education, and sexual violence aid and prevention projects. We're also providing emergency support to families uprooted by fighting between South Sudan's government and opposition forces.

The Latest

How We Help

  • In the wake of a Jan. 2014 cease fire agreement between the government of South Sudan and opposition forces, the IRC is continuing to assist civilians uprooted by the conflict. In the short term, our focus is on protetcting women and girls in the capital city, Juba.
  • The IRC runs clinics and trains local health workers to provide basic and reproductive health care.
  • We construct classrooms, train teachers and develop and improve educational policy and administration.
  • The IRC provides returning South Sudanese with counseling and job training and instructs them on their rights as citizens.
  • We train community leaders and government officials on the importance of upholding human rights.
  • The IRC empowers survivors of sexual violence to express their concerns and provides medical, psychosocial and legal support.
  • The IRC provides emergency aid to Sudanese refugees who have fled ongoing fighting and food shortages in Sudan's South Kordofan region.
April 23, 2014 | Blog
In five months of violence nearly 1 million people have been displaced within South Sudan. 300,000 have been made refugees in neighboring countries. Get updates from IRC aid workers and others who are responding to and reporting on the crisis.

South Sudan Aid worker updates

The IRC is responding with emergency support for tens of thousands of people affected by clashes in South Sudan. Hear from IRC aid workers, our partners and others who are responding to and reporting on the crisis.


On January 9, 2011, South Sudan held a referendum in which its people almost unanimously decided to secede and become the world’s newest independent country.

After decades of civil war and neglect, South Sudan is one of the poorest and most undeveloped regions in the world.  Since the signing of the 2005 peace agreement—bringing an end to one of Africa’s longest running wars, which claimed more than two million lives—South Sudan has had to rebuild from scratch.

Millions of South Sudanese are dependent on food aid, maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the world and one in seven children dies before the age of five. Much of the region’s economic and social infrastructure was left in ruins. There are few functioning schools and hospitals.

As the people of South Sudan begin to build a new country, it is more urgent than ever that the international community provide long-term support and assistance.

The IRC has been one of the largest providers of aid in South Sudan for more than 20 years. The IRC aids communities devastated by war with emergency relief, reconstruction assistance and with programs focusing on health care, education, rights and reintegration, and ways to reduce violence against women. The IRC also helps local communities develop the ability to support and sustain themselves.

The IRC works in six South Sudanese states: Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity and Lakes.

The IRC was also delivering humanitarian aid to around 2 million people in Darfur, North and East Sudan until March 2009. A decision by the government of Sudan to expel the IRC and 12 other international aid agencies effectively halted these programs overnight.