Women of the Maper Payam Women's Collective, supported by UNDP's Peace and Community Cohesion (PaCC) project in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan. Photo: UNDP

An ecosystem of peacemakers and peace builders, such as joint border peace committees, traditional authority leaders, women and youth, are working in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State to rebuild broken relations and foster social cohesion.

Although Northern Bahr el Ghazal state has been relatively peaceful compared with other states in South Sudan, common incidents occur over access to natural resources within and along the Sudan-South Sudan border. In more populated areas, cases of petty theft are persistent, due to ongoing economic hardships and unemployment among the youth. Local communities across the board continue to grapple with sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls within the region.

In response to these dynamics, UNDP focuses on strengthening local peace structures by providing holistic support to communities in all the five counties of the state in collaboration with other peace actors including FAO, UNMISS-CAD, the Regional Peace Coordination Office and local civil society organizations.

For the Peace and Community Cohesion (PaCC) project, creating connections between communities is key. To further reduce communal violence, the project supports socio-economic empowerment through community interdependency initiatives such as a women’s collective producing peanut butter in Maper Payam.

View the full photo story here: Building on Peace Structures to Improve Resilience in Northern Bahr el Ghazal

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