International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in South Sudan

A South Sudanese child is checked for signs of malnutrition
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

After a long and brutal conflict, South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011. The International Rescue Committee has been one of the largest providers of aid in South Sudan for over 20 years. Today, as the world's newest nation is working to build peace after its own civil war, the IRC is continuing to provide emergency assistance to more than 800,000 people. 

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How We Help

  • Since December 2013, when a political rivalry between South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and Riek Machar, a former vice president, erupted into violence, thousands of people have been killed and some 2 million have been forced to flee their homes. The IRC is providing urgently needed medical care, water and sanitation services, protection for vulnerable women and girls, and other assistance.
  • 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 refugees 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.
February 19, 2016 | Blog
The IRC condemns yesterday's horrific attack on a United Nations refuge in Malakal, South Sudan for civilians fleeing ongoing violence in the country. Get updates.

South Sudan Aid worker updates

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


Learn more in our special feature: South Sudan on the edge of starvation.


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.