South Sudan is one of the youngest African countries. It relies significantly on development and humanitarian aid to curb the high levels of violence, hunger and unemployment and underdevelopment. According to OECD, South Sudan receives aid from the international community including various UN agencies. Most of the funding in South Sudan goes to state-building and peace building activities. However, security problems have hindered humanitarian and development efforts from the international community.
The country is rated as a highly fragile state and requires a lot of investments in financial aid to help the various agents providing humanitarian services and development projects. There were approximately 2.2 million displaced people in 2015 in the country due to civil conflicts (Mugisha and Nkamleu, 2016). In 2015, the level of poverty of the country rose to 57%. Therefore, South Sudan’s aid dependency is high in health and food sectors. Organizations such as African Development Bank, OECD, UNDP, Red Cross, UKAID and USAID have played a significant role in funding South Sudan. The dependency on aid for basic services such as food and health is a big hindrance to development because there is little funding channelled towards development projects.
The leading sponsor of the Humanitarian efforts in South Sudan is the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for South Sudan which collects funding from all over the world. In 2016, South Sudan received a total funding of $608.6 million committed to Humanitarian services. The largest funding received by South Sudan comes from the U.S., which is approximately $147.5% or 24% of the total funding given to South Sudan (START, 2016). The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan required a total funding of $1.29 trillion but managed to receive 40% of that amount. Therefore, there is still a long way to go in order to achieve the target. After the US, the next sponsor is the EU followed by the UK.
UN Humanitarian Response Plan for South Sudan works through the Central emergency response fund and common humanitarian fund in the country. The funds go to different emergency and humanitarian services depending on the situation (START, 2016). The sector that received the highest funding in 2016 is the Food sector, getting $147 million (24%). This amount is significant, and it indicates that the country is indeed far from reaching desirable levels of development. There is need for basic services including provision of food before the country can think about development projects.
South Sudan funding (Source: OECD, 2011).
The figure above shows that South Sudan has received the highest funding in food as shown by the yellow part which is the largest portion. The emergency and humanitarian funds provided through the UN are used to provide food to displaced and hungry people (START, 2016). Displaced people cannot work, so they are not able to provide food for themselves. Furthermore, South Sudan has faced recurrent drought since 2014 due to lack of alternative food production methods such as irrigation. Therefore, the hunger caused by drought and civil conflicts require significant humanitarian funding.
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Mugisha, F. and Nkamleu, G.B. (2016). South Sudan. African Economic Outlook [Online] accessed from http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/country-notes/south-sudan.
OECD (2011). 2011 Report on International Engagement in Fragile States: Republic of South Sudan. OECD Publishing.
START (2016). UN Humanitarian Response Plan for South Sudan. START Global Network.