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COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response Plan

South Sudan is ranked as the most dangerous country for people to live in during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons for this relate to the country’s structural deficiencies, which include a very weak and under-resourced health care system, an extremely high poverty rate, widespread and high rates of malnourishment, and a large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), among others. The country’s weak justice system and gender inequality exacerbates crises such as widespread sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), making the South Sudanese population one of the most vulnerable in the world. Adding to these structural barriers, the timing of the pandemic could not be worse. The Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity has been in office for a short time and faces daunting challenges in leading the post-conflict transition. Since the beginning of the pandemic, violence has spiked in places like Jonglei, where hundreds of civilians have been killed and 60,000 displaced. COVID-19 adds strain and poses a threat to the peace  process: major reforms are still outstanding and further delays are likely. Other factors relating to timing include the rainy season, which complicates access to rural communities and hampers food distribution at a time when there are both floods and locusts in parts of the country. Finally, the government has imposed measures such as curfew, limiting movement or social distancing to contain the pandemic, which also have a significant socio-economic  impact. This document identifies the main channels through which the pandemic  has a devastating socio-economic impact in South Sudan

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
01 Oct 2020
Document type: 
Strategy