After the Independence of South Sudan, the competence relative to cooperation initiatives in the country has passed from the Embassy of Khartoum to the Embassy and the Development Cooperation Office of Addis Ababa.
The Country strategy, as agreed upon with local counterparts, is summarized in the ‘Programma Indicativo di Cooperazione Italo-Sudanese 2010-2011'.
Such strategy is focused on the fight against poverty and the improvement of living conditions of target groups, according to the Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations.
The Italian Cooperation contributes to the efforts of the international community in assisting local populations with about 22 million Euro, of which about 7.5 million disbursed through the bilateral channel, including NGO contributions, and about 14.5 million through the multilateral one.
The main sectors of intervention are health, with a specific focus on the improvement of child and maternal health and child mortality reduction, and primary education.
In the latter sector Italy is realizing together with UNOPS, a project worth 4.5 million Euro to increase school enrollment and participation especially among girls, in the Lakes State and Eastern Equatoria.
A particularly interesting initiative is the trilateral cooperation with South Sudan and Egypt aimed at offering specific training to South Sudanese midwives.
The Italian Cooperation in South Sudan is characterized by a significant presence in the Lakes State, where efforts have been concentrated in an integrated modality and with full approval and appreciation of local authorities and of the communities living in the region.
In the Lakes State the Italian Cooperation is in fact supporting the strengthening of basic health services in Rumbek hospital, through a directly managed programme worth about 3 million Euros.
Together with the NGO CUAMM the Italian Cooperation also promotes the improvement of mother and child healthcare in the hospitals of Lui (Western Equatoria)and Yirol (Lakes State). The presence of Italian NGOs in South Sudan is certainly relevant and in some cases also well radicated into the territory.
The financial support of the Italian Cooperation to the initiatives promoted by Italian NGOs is above 4 million Euros.
There are currently about ten projects realized by Italian NGOs (AISPO , AVSI, CISP, CUAMM, CEFA, OVCI), especially in the health sector.
Along with ordinary initiatives the Italian Cooperation is also actively involved in humanitarian activities.
In fact, throughout the past year the organization has financed WFP for the initiative regarding populations affected by the conflict, IOM and UNHCR for the assistance to refugees in Blue Nile and Kordofan and UNMASS for de mining activities.
In response to the United Nations appeals of 2011 and 2012, Italy has financed two interventions implemented by UNICEF concerning nutrition and child and maternal health.
Click here to read the OCHA Consolidated Appeal for South Sudan 2012.