Our Program in South Sudan

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dena Gudaitis, Director of Communications
dgudaitis@womenforwomen.org |  202.521.9607

December 7, 2016, Washington, DC – Women for Women International’s mission is provide women with access to life-changing skills that enable them to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. It is for this core reason that we began working with the women of South Sudan in 2006. Over the last decade, we have directly impacted the lives of 14,000 women enrolled in our programs.

South Sudan has had a difficult road since its independence five years ago. Beginning in late 2013, political and ethnic instability re-emerged and has flared up in communities across the country. Numerous violent incidents have now created a dire crisis. To date, over 2.2 million people have fled their homes.

As a direct result of the resurging violence, including specific incidents affecting our staff and training sites, our organization made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our program in South Sudan earlier this fall. Over the last several months, we had continuously and cautiously monitored the security situation, standing at the ready to resume our work with women.

However, the situation continues to deteriorate and it is not possible to safely bring women together in groups to implement our program. Based on advice and assessments from our security team, other stakeholders and NGOs in the region, we will suspend our 12- month social and economic empowerment program in South Sudan for 2017. Instead of implementing a program directly, we will look for opportunities to work with other partners who are able to remain in the country doing humanitarian response, and support their work with women on protection and combatting gender based violence.

A decision to halt our work is not easy or simple. It directly impacts lives of the women we serve and the staff we employ. Safety of all involved is our first priority. As a result of the instability, many of our program participants have relocated with their families to even more remote areas to avoid the fighting.

Women for Women International stands in solidarity with the women and families of South Sudan and we remain eager to resume our work. Through our programs, we are proud to convene a safe and secure place to train underserved women. We look forward to a future South Sudan with stability, peace and prosperity.

We urge the international community and the Government of South Sudan to take measures to stop the violence that is being targeted, both intentionally and indiscriminately, against civilians throughout South Sudan.

About Women for Women International

Since 1993, Women for Women International (WfWI) has provided nearly 447,000 women survivors of war and conflict with training, support, and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. WfWI’s innovative programs are guided by a vision to create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential. WfWI works in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan. To learn more, visit www.womenforwomen.org.