The IRC Ends Successful Program to Help South Sudanese Return Home
Following a landmark peace agreement in 2005 that ended the 21-year war in South Sudan, over 150,000 people have returned to devastated villages from exile in neighboring countries. Nearly 300,000 people are still living in camps in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.
“One of the most important parts of the program has been to help those still living in the camps to make an informed choice about returning and to prepare them for their journey home,” explained Erica DePiero, the IRC’s regional returns advisor.
Over the past two years, more than 3,500 people received vocational training, 10,000 people received civic education training and 1,200 adults attended basic math and literacy classes, DePiero said.
A dozen elected community development committees, through which villagers set priorities for rebuilding their own communities, were also established by the IRC. Nearly 20 projects, including grain grinding mills and electrical generator clubs—where people come together to a share a joint power generator—were launched in the southern Sudan state of Blue Nile.
The IRC’s South Sudan program has been funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
“Under this program, the IRC has also repaired and constructed 10 health clinics, built over 200 latrines and drilled 40 boreholes, fitting them with hand-pumps,” DePiero said.
More than two million people died in the South Sudan conflict before the January 2005 peace agreement formally ended hostilities between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).