South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation, gaining independence from Sudan in 2011. While this put an end to Africa’s most protracted civil war, it did little to secure peace for a diverse country made up of 60 different major ethnic groups.
Years of internal conflict inside the country has resulted in an protracted humanitarian crisis. Two thirds of the population are in dire need of support. Many people go hungry and have no access to safe drinking water or sanitation facilities. The country’s health and education systems are particularly fragile. One in three schools have been destroyed or damaged leaving more than 2 million school-aged children out-of-school. In the hospitals, a limited supply of doctors’ are left to grapple with major health scares including malaria season and soaring maternal mortality rates.
Natural disaster is also a mounting threat. In 2019, the government declared a state of emergency in three states following devastating floods that washed away the livelihoods of nearly one million people and exacerbated existing issues.