South Sudan is afflicted by political instability, poverty, and food insecurity. With 43 percent of the population living on less than $1.90 per day, a weak economy, and ongoing internal conflict, South Sudan ranks among the most fragile states in the world. Fifty percent of South Sudanese have access to basic drinking water, 30-50 percent of water facilities are non-functional at any point in time, and only 10 percent of the population has access to basic sanitation. Weak water sector governance, limited funding and funding absorption capacity, human resource constraints, and limited data for decision-making are among the major drivers of low access rates.
In light of the changing socioeconomic and political context, USAID’s development programing in South Sudan focuses on critical service provision in basic and emergency education and health. USAID invests in providing drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools and hospitals, and supports emergency WASH for internally displaced people who are living under the protection of the United Nations (UN), and in nearby host communities. Portfolio priorities include promoting social accountability through citizen engagement in water and sanitation infrastructure and promoting gender-sensitive solutions to mitigate gender-based violence.
USAID coordinates these investments with other donors through a WASH Donor Group that works to identify needs, leverage resources, and avoid duplication of effort. Other major partners include Germany and UNICEF.
Overall, USAID water and development activities are estimated to provide more than 385,000 South Sudanese with access to basic water supplies, and help 145,000 people gain access to basic sanitation.