South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, inspiring hope that under an autonomous government the country would be able to realize high levels of inclusive, economic growth (bolstered by revenues from the oil sector), provide basic service delivery and public infrastructure to its citizens, and ultimately reduce the country’s acute poverty rates, which stood at 51 percent in 2009.
Since 2011, however, South Sudan has faced increasingly complex and mutually reinforcing political, economic and humanitarian challenges, including a bloody civil war that broke in December 2013, economic downturn due to the temporary suspension of oil production in 2012 followed by a conflict-fueled fiscal crisis in 2013 and 2014, and extreme, widespread deprivation exacerbated by the war and poor macroeconomic conditions.
Now, on top of the country’s growing poverty, infrastructure and other development gaps, falling oil prices have further undercut flows from the oil sector, which comprise 95 percent of the government’s revenues and 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Moreover, South Sudan’s deteriorating political crisis has made it a liability to the region, complicating its attempts to join the East African Community and benefit from regional integration.
Source: Devex/Amadou Sy