UNOPS in South Sudan 

UNOPS is committed to supporting the newly established Government of the Republic of South Sudan in the building of a viable and stable state, following decades of conflict.

Newly constructed school in Pabiey

We are helping a wide range of local and international partners improve the lives of the South Sudanese people by implementing infrastructure and procurement projects and by clearing mines. All UNOPS operations have an increasing emphasis on developing national capacities and considering gender, environmental and community concerns.

UNOPS has been operational in South Sudan since 2005 and has successfully implemented a wide range of projects – from the construction of roads and bridges, including the first engineered road in South Sudan, to rehabilitating airstrips and building government offices, schools and police and justice facilities (see key outputs graphic).

We are currently implementing around 25 projects on behalf of our partners across all 10 states (see map). The following are examples of UNOPS support to partners in some key sectors in Sudan:


New road built in Yambio which improves security and boosts the economy Roads are vital to improve access to markets in order to boost food production and economic growth, to enhance security by expanding police and judicial services, and to increase access to social services such as hospitals and schools.

UNOPS has constructed, rehabilitated or repaired around 500 kilometres of roads in South Sudan, on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Multi-Donor Trust Fund, the Common Humanitarian Fund, the United Nations Development Programme and the South Sudan Recovery Fund.

UNOPS has also initiated the repair and construction of critical roads and airstrips to ease the delivery of humanitarian supplies and services via our Emergency Response Unit, funded by the Common Humanitarian Fund and the United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, among others. Read more about UNOPS work supporting transport projects in South Sudan.

Post-conflict stabilization

In order to build a viable state, South Sudan’s Government and international partners are focusing on stabilizing key regions by strengthening the rule of law, improving accessibility and combating the root causes of conflict.

UNOPS is implementing projects in key conflict-affected states under four UN Joint Stabilization Programmes led and coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme, and funded by the South Sudan Recovery Fund, among others.

These include constructing or rehabilitating large numbers of police posts and stations, prisons, detention centres and court houses as well as training centres for police officers and prison workers.

To enhance the inclusion of youth, UNOPS is also implementing the Youth Employment Project on behalf of the Spanish Government. This helps young men and women build skills and earn income through temporary employment in labour-intensive infrastructure works. Read more about UNOPS work supporting stabilization projects in South Sudan.


South Sudan has a massively underdeveloped health system with only 20 percent of people receiving services from any kind of health facility over their entire lifetime. This has led to some of highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world.

On behalf of USAID, UNOPS has rehabilitated two dilapidated rural health care centres in order to improve the care of women and children and reduce the extremely high rates of maternal and infant mortality.

UNOPS is also working to develop the South Sudanese health sector by establishing the capacity of state ministries to run an online health system. On behalf of the Sudan Multi-Donor Trust Fund, and in partnership with the Ministry of Health, all of the ministry offices in the 10 state capitals now have the equipment and training to share and access medical information through the eHealth system. Read more about UNOPS work supporting health projects in South Sudan.


Children accessing safe drinking water in front of newly constructed schoolOnly half of all children attend school in South Sudan and only 10 percent of those have access to permanent classrooms that offer a safe and conducive learning environment.

UNOPS is working with the United Nations Children’s Fund, USAID, the UK Department for International Development and the Government of Italy to construct primary and secondary schools in a number of projects across South Sudan.

On behalf of these partners UNOPS has already built 48 schools with another 38 in the planning or construction stages. UNOPS is managing the construction of all the schools, as well as drilling wells for safe drinking water, providing sanitation facilities and procuring the necessary furniture and equipment.

While building the schools UNOPS is working closely with the community to increase local ownership, get girls into school and help activate parent-teacher associations. Read more about UNOPS work supporting education projects in South Sudan

Census and elections

UNOPS constructed 10 support bases in the run-up to the referendum on Southern independence in January 2011. This project was part of the overall assistance the United Nations Mission provided to the referendum process.

UNOPS has also provided assistance to earlier census processes and a 2010 election in Sudan before the secession of South Sudan.

Building capacity

UNOPS works closely with Government and state employees at all levels, sharing project implementation experience and technical knowledge to build capacity for future development.

We support local contractors and labourers by developing the local construction industry by providing training in international procurement standards, by repackaging tenders into smaller units and by offering onsite technical support. A number of the projects we support also have direct training components, for example in road maintenance. Read more about the ways UNOPS adds value to our partners' projects in South Sudan.

Mine Action

After decades of civil war, South Sudan is widely contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war.

To address these threats the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre is collaborating with several UN agencies, national and international NGOs, commercial contractors and the South Sudan Demining Authority, with support from the UNOPS Mine Action Unit based in New York.

Key achievements include:

  • Opening of over 19,000 kilometres of routes, allowing for increased freedom of movement for people in affected communities and for the safe delivery of humanitarian aid
  • Release of 1,000 square kilometres of land to 487 communities, facilitating the construction of schools, hospitals, markets, housing development and agricultural activities
  • Education of 1.3 million men, women and children on the dangers of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW)
  • Destruction of more than 29,700 mines and 821,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance
  • Provision of assistance to 2,700 landmine survivors and people with disabilities
  • Building of local partner capacity to address residual landmine/ERW threats



Click on image to watch video

Click on the image above for a video on UNOPS work in South Sudan.