Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers (Project RECAAF)
Duration of the project
Swiss Solidarity, UNICEF
Southern Sudan covers 640,000 km2 including water, wildlife, livestock, forest, oil and minerals. . Southern Sudan has 10 states and a population of about 8.2 million people (2008 Census) that is rapidly growing and buoyed by returning refugees and IDPs. About one million people have returned since 2005. Southern Sudan has been a battleground for two civil wars (1955-1972, 1983-2005) that resulted in loss of life, widespread poverty, food insecurity; and delayed development of basic economic infrastructure and services.
The literacy rate is low, especially among women. . The majority of the population relies on livestock rearing, crop production, fishing, wild food collection and trade for their livelihood. Agriculture constitutes about a 1/3 of the GDP. Oil revenues contribute about 97% to government revenues. GOSS and donors implement a range of programs to rehabilitate basic infrastructure and services.
However, uncertainty about the political future, weak institutions, high levels of food insecurity and many returnees, IDPs and demobilized ex-combatants’ high poverty cause challenges Especially the re-integration puts pressure on poor resident populations as cycles of natural calamities, food insecurity and malnutrition add to the numbers of vulnerable members of the community. Women and children in particular are at the top of the list of disadvantaged people. Communities only slowly recover with women and children at the top of the vulnerability chart because discriminative customary laws limit their access to and control of resources, generating frustration and communal tensions. Non-school going youth or demobilized children with few future prospects are vulnerable to recruitment into the army/armed groups. The village communities are therefore recovering only very slowly.
UNICEF began its partnership with VSF Suisse in December 2009 when it granted a Small Scale Funding Agreement (SSFA) worth 20,000 US$. The SSFA was implemented on a pilot basis and successfully completed in a six months period. In 2010, UNICEF renewed the partnership with VSF Suisse under the Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) to scale up the project implemented in the pilot phase.