South Sudan

Gender Assessment and Needs Analysis in the Context of the South Sudan Humanitarian Crisis

Attachments

Political and development situation in S Sudan prior to the December 15, 2013 conflict

The Republic of South Sudan (RSS) was established on 9 July 2011 after five decades of near continuous war, and following the six-year interim period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). RSS was subsequently admitted into the United Nations General Assembly on 14 July 2011 and into the African Union (AU) on 15 August 2011. RSS is divided into ten (10) states. The country entered its independence status as one of the most under-developed countries in the world. Up to 60 per cent of remote locations are inaccessible during the rainy season. Many of these areas are insecure because they are inaccessible, and state structures, including law enforcement, have little if any capacity to access or intervene when conflict occurs. At least 80 percent of the population is incomepoor, living on an equivalent of less than USD 1 per day. More than one third of the population is food insecure and even in a good year, 20 percent of households cannot support themselves. Less than 40 percent of the population has access to any form of health care.

Up to 60 per cent of remote locations are inaccessible during the rainy season. Many of these areas are insecure because they are inaccessible, and state structures, including law enforcement, have little if any capacity to access or intervene when conflict occurs. At least 80 percent of the population is income-poor, living on an equivalent of less than USD 1 per day. More than one third of the population is food insecure and even in a good year, 20 percent of households cannot support themselves. Less than 40 percent of the population has access to any form of health care.

While some progress has been made in the area of immunization, the proportion of fully immunized children is only 5.8 percent. The maternal mortality rate is the highest in the world and gender based violence and rape devastates both individuals and communities. The conflict has undermined traditional social structures and community coping mechanisms and has had widespread psycho-social impact on affected communities. Inter-communal conflicts remain prevalent, resulting in large numbers of casualties and mass displacement, disproportionately affecting women. In 2011 alone, more than 3,000 people have died from violent conflict within South Sudan, and 350,000 people have been displaced. In the lead-up to independence, more than 300,000 Southerners who had been living in the north returned to the south, in addition to the more than two million who had already returned since 2005, often to rural communities lacking livelihoods, infrastructure, water, schools and health posts.

The Republic of South Sudan is richly endowed with mineral wealth including oil – currently the sole mainstay economy. The country is still engaged challenging negotiations with Sudan over sharing oil revenues that led to the shut-down of oil, outstanding border demarcation issues over which several battles have been fought since independence. With oil resources the country is also having to manage interests from global and regional state and non-state actors. It is in this context that the latest crisis and the extent of the vulnerabilities of the state and its people have to be understood.