UNDP and Japan Sign US$ 5 Million Agreement to Support Women Empowerment and SGBV Elimination.

November 30, 2023

The Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. TSUTSUMI Naohiro and the UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Samuel Doe at the Japanese Embassy in Juba during the signing ceremony.

UNDP/Amos Agiro

28 November 2023, JUBA — UNDP and the Government of Japan have signed a US$ 5 million project at the Embassy of Japan in Juba, South Sudan to increase the protection of women from sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and enhance their opportunities for productive engagement in economic and livelihood activities to address discrepancies in power imbalances and ensure that women are able to fully participate in state-building, peace, and social cohesion. The Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. TSUTSUMI Naohiro; the JICA Representative, Mr. Tanaka Hiroyuki; and the UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Samuel Doe graced the occasion.

As part of ongoing efforts to address gender disparities and push for women's socioeconomic empowerment in the country, UNDP has been implementing interventions on youth and women's social and economic empowerment, specifically on skills development, entrepreneurship and business development, employment creation and placement, and social and political engagement. 

This has led to more than 26,000 youth (70% of whom are women) provided with vocational and entrepreneurial skills, of whom 63% (16,000+) were gainful employed. Moreover, about 2,100 MSEs (at least 60% women-led) have been established and supported with business development services and financing through the MSE Financing Facility established with formal banking institutions. MSEs are channeled to South Sudan’s first (and only) Digital Marketplace which currently host more than 3,000 MSEs facilitating business linkages and trade promotion.

The project, “Improvement of Community Centers for Responding to Gender-Based Violence” aims to scale these efforts by focusing on women empowerment in deepening socio-economic inclusion. The project will construct Community and Livelihood Centers that are designed, located, and intended specifically for women conducting business in market centres. The centre will provide a common, safe, neutral, and public space for women, especially those vulnerable to Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV). 

It will support the development of women-led businesses by providing a central point for women to gather and socialize, as well as continuing business development support, resource and organizational management, and soft skills on leadership, conflict management, and SGBV. 

JICA Representative, Mr. Tanaka Hiroyuki; and UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Samuel Doe at the signing ceremony.

UNDP/Amos Agiro

In partnership with JICA, the centers will provide information related to SGBV prevention and resources for SGBV survivors to access including reporting, the legal system, and other protection services. An SGBV Desk will be established and linked to legal aid service provision within the centre as among the first entry points in the SGBV referral pathway. The centres will also be utilized as the venue for capacity development and awareness-raising activities for vulnerable women.

Dr. Samuel Doe, UNDP South Sudan Resident Representative, underlined his appreciation of the project and of the support of the Government of Japan while highlighting the significance of the project agreement signing falling within the global celebration on 16 days of activism against gender based violence. He underscored the role of Japan in championing women empowerment as he noted, “This arrangement today represents the consistent and firm commitment of the government and people of Japan in partnership with UNDP to put women’s well-being at the center of development support in South Sudan”.

On behalf of JICA, Mr. TANAKA Hiroyuki, Chief Representative, expressed his gratitude of the project, and optimism that South Sudanese women across the country will get access to economic growth, social support, protection, and prevention of GBV and security. He indicated that these interventions will also benefit South Sudanese women to receive adequate support when they are needed including giving safe space for their children in the community centers and in response to individual case and circumstance. He urged all those involved in the implementation of this project to give their utmost support so that we contribute to the realization of an economically empowered, mentally stable and socially developed South Sudanese woman through a human-centered approach. 

From Left to Right: Mr. Titus Osundina, Dr. Samuel Doe, H.E. TSUTSUMI Naohiro, Mr. Tanaka Hiroyuki, and Mr. Jose Manzano at the signing ceremony.

UNDP/Amos Agiro

The Government of Japan appreciates UNDP's efforts for the success of this Project which aims to help SGBV survivors become self-reliant and being reintegrated to society. Since South Sudan's independence, Japan has been helping strengthen the capacity for economic and social development. Ambassador TSUTSUMI underlined the significance of the project, saying "this Project embodies Japan's policy on empowerment of women by equipping women with ability to protect themselves and skills to feed themselves and their families, with which women would establish themselves as indispensable players for navigating their community as well as nation.



For more information contact:
Amos Agiro, Communications Analyst: amos.agiro@undp.org, +211928747291