First National Human Development Report for Independent South Sudan Emphasizes Journey to Prosperity

Feb 24, 2016

24 February 2016, JUBA —­­­Today at Freedom Hall, His Excellency James Wani Igga, the Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly marked the launch of the first National Human Development Report for an independent South Sudan. The report comes at a time when the country is facing major socio-economic and political challenges and explores options to rebuild the country.

The theme of this year’s report is “People, Peace and Prosperity.” The report maps and tracks the requirements and perspectives needed for a prosperous South Sudan, and aim to move the national conversation towards lasting, human-centric metrics of success beyond the transitional period.

“The National Human Development Report shows us in no uncertain terms that peace is a prerequisite for prosperity, and prosperity will be attained only through lasting peace,” says Mr. Eugene Owusu, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and UNDP Resident Representative to South Sudan.

The NHDR examined the biggest drains on human development in South Sudan and found the absence of peace to be the most significant impediment to progress, even in South Sudanese states perceived to be conflict-free.

The report will enable the government of South Sudan and key partner organizations to make strategic decisions that enable citizens to lead long and healthy lives, to acquire knowledge, to be able to enjoy a decent standard of living and to shape their own lives. Above all, the NHDR for South Sudan focuses on development by the people, of the people and for the people.

“Many countries have gone through the same kinds of tremendous upheavals and terrible suffering brought about by civil war and conflict. Over time, many of these countries have done surprisingly well in healing old wounds and putting their economies on a positive and sustainable growth trajectory,” says Frederick Mugisha, UNDP Economics Advisor.

“Investments in economic and social infrastructure, focused attention on education, health, capacity-building, and policy-making have all resulted in major improvements in human development and significant reductions in poverty levels in similar countries. Comparatively, South Sudan has much, if not more, potential to overcome its current challenges.”

The NHDR shows evidence that all social and economic classes would be negatively affected, not just the poor, if “business as usual” is maintained. According to the report, in order for South Sudan to achieve the kind of transformation needed, stakeholders will have to collectively practice the discipline of linking immediate priorities to the “long view” needs of the country.

With full support from both the Government of South Sudan and UNDP, today’s launch of the National Human Development Report is just the first step in presenting its findings and leveraging its information for practical implementation.

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