27 July 2021, Juba, South Sudan: The Situation Analysis report of children and women in South Sudan (2018-2020) was launched today in Juba, under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP) and the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MGCSW).
I authored the report for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support and the participation of both ministries. I visited Juba and Pibor in South Sudan in 2015, and have worked on many assignments for the UNICEF Country Officer there since that time.
This detailed report presents an update of the situation of children and women in South Sudan. It will provide policy makers with crucial data and recommendations that will inform better planning for national health and development goals, particularly those related to children and women and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The Situation Analysis report analyses the child rights gaps that must be addressed and shed light on the specific sectors and policies that need to be strengthened and funded to ensure an equitable South Sudan for all its children. The report stresses the importance of increased national budget allocations for key social sectors such as education and health,” said Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP), Mr Ocum Genes Karlo.
The report provides key insights to promote and implement equity-sensitive policies, programmes and budget allocations. It will guide the humanitarian and development actors in the country to build effective child friendly programmes that respond to the needs of the most vulnerable.
The report came about through a collaborative process. It was informed by a deep and rich consultation process with many partners and stakeholders, including government representatives, UN agencies, non-governmental and civil society organizations, journalists and children themselves.
Children and youth up to 25 years of age make up 63 per cent of the population and they represent South Sudan’s greatest natural resource. Their aspirations, ideas and vision were captured well during the focus group discussions with youth and children, who were part of the external consultation process for this analysis.
The Situation Analysis report gives an extensive overview of the status of the rights of children in South Sudan. It highlights that one child out of ten does not reach their fifth birthday, 2.8 million children are out of school, and over half of all girls are married before they turn 18. The report also includes a list of 16 concrete recommendations to make South Sudan more child friendly.
“This is a defining moment for South Sudan. We have just completed our first decade of independence. This report will help us take stock of where we are. It will galvanize policy makers in our country to prioritize the voices of children, women, persons with disabilities and other key groups, in actions at every level towards building a more child and gender-friendly South Sudan,” said Under-Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Child & Social Welfare (MoGCSW) Ms Ester Ikere Eluzai.
The Situation Analysis report focuses on developments since 2017 when the last situation assessment was published; it examines the progress, challenges and opportunities, and the patterns of deprivation that children face, particularly those children most at risk of being left behind.
“It is very important that while UNICEF plans for the next country programme for South Sudan as part of the upcoming UN Sustainable Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) to support the National Development Strategy, we prioritize the crucial recommendations from this analysis to contribute to the sustainable changes the children in this country urgently need,” said Benjamin Kilonzo, acting UNICEF Representative in South Sudan.
The Situation Analysis report was launched at an event organized at UNICEF. The event was chaired by a UNICEF Child Reporter and was graced by the participation of the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare.