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Getting it Right from the Start: Priorities for action in the new Republic of South Sudan

Getting it Right from the Start: Priorities for action in the new Republic of South Sudan

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Published by Oxfam
Amidst jubilant celebration, the new Republic of South Sudan entered the international stage in July 2011 albeit as one of the least developed countries in the world. The challenges and opportunities are enormous, and donors, the government, implementing agencies and most importantly the people of South Sudan have a lot at stake – but much more to gain. Against a backdrop of chronic under-development, the country is acutely vulnerable to recurring conflict and climatic shocks. More than 220,000 people were displaced last year due to conflict and more than 100,000 were affected by floods; and already this year, fighting in the disputed border areas, clashes between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and militia groups, disputes over land and cattle, and attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army, have forced nearly 300,000 people from their homes.

South Sudan is a complex context that challenges normal humanitarian and development paradigms. Such complexity has not always been reflected in the strategies of either donors or implementing agencies. This paper presents ten areas that the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) and donors must prioritise in the first years of the country’s independence so as to ensure the best possible results for the people of South Sudan.

The joint NGO paper was written as part of Oxfam’s Conflicts and Emergencies campaign aimed at highlighting the right to appropriate assistance and adequate protection for people caught in conflicts and crises. In light of independence the Government of South Sudan and many donors are seeking to establish aid and investment priorities and strategies. These new plans must: continue support for humanitarian needs; seek to prevent conflict; support community and civil society participation; ensure equitable development across the country; prioritise vulnerable populations; promote sustainable livelihoods; strengthen government capacity; enable an appropriate transition to government authorities; provide timely and predictable funding; and engage in multi-sectoral integrated programming . This is a critical time to get aid policies and programs right in order to ensure peace, security, and prosperity for the people of South Sudan.
The accompanying note summarises views presented by the SSRRC and MFAIC at a meeting between representatives of the SSRRC and 6 NGO representatives (on behalf of the 38 signatory agencies to the report) held in Juba on 31 August 2011 to discuss the joint-ngo paper Getting it Right from the Start: Priorities for Action in the New Republic of South Sudan. NGOs welcome the Statement from government representatives and invite further discussion on the recommendations in the report and the views shared in the government response.
Amidst jubilant celebration, the new Republic of South Sudan entered the international stage in July 2011 albeit as one of the least developed countries in the world. The challenges and opportunities are enormous, and donors, the government, implementing agencies and most importantly the people of South Sudan have a lot at stake – but much more to gain. Against a backdrop of chronic under-development, the country is acutely vulnerable to recurring conflict and climatic shocks. More than 220,000 people were displaced last year due to conflict and more than 100,000 were affected by floods; and already this year, fighting in the disputed border areas, clashes between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and militia groups, disputes over land and cattle, and attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army, have forced nearly 300,000 people from their homes.

South Sudan is a complex context that challenges normal humanitarian and development paradigms. Such complexity has not always been reflected in the strategies of either donors or implementing agencies. This paper presents ten areas that the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) and donors must prioritise in the first years of the country’s independence so as to ensure the best possible results for the people of South Sudan.

The joint NGO paper was written as part of Oxfam’s Conflicts and Emergencies campaign aimed at highlighting the right to appropriate assistance and adequate protection for people caught in conflicts and crises. In light of independence the Government of South Sudan and many donors are seeking to establish aid and investment priorities and strategies. These new plans must: continue support for humanitarian needs; seek to prevent conflict; support community and civil society participation; ensure equitable development across the country; prioritise vulnerable populations; promote sustainable livelihoods; strengthen government capacity; enable an appropriate transition to government authorities; provide timely and predictable funding; and engage in multi-sectoral integrated programming . This is a critical time to get aid policies and programs right in order to ensure peace, security, and prosperity for the people of South Sudan.
The accompanying note summarises views presented by the SSRRC and MFAIC at a meeting between representatives of the SSRRC and 6 NGO representatives (on behalf of the 38 signatory agencies to the report) held in Juba on 31 August 2011 to discuss the joint-ngo paper Getting it Right from the Start: Priorities for Action in the New Republic of South Sudan. NGOs welcome the Statement from government representatives and invite further discussion on the recommendations in the report and the views shared in the government response.

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Published by: Oxfam on Sep 07, 2011
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Joint Briefing Paper 06 September 2011
Getting it Right from the Start
Priorities for Action in the New Republic ofSouth Sudan
This report presents the views of 38 aid agenciesworking on peace-building, development, andhumanitarian assistance in South Sudan.
Girl getting water in Rumbek, 2010. © Carolyn Gluck for Oxfam.
Amidst jubilant celebration, the new Republic of South Sudan enteredthe international stage in July 2011 albeit as one of the least developedcountries in the world. The challenges and opportunities are enormous,and donors, the government, implementing agencies and mostimportantly the people of South Sudan have a lot at stake
 –
but muchmore to gain. This paper presents ten areas for action based on theexperience of NGOs operating in South Sudan and lessons learntduring the Comprehensive Peace Agreement interim period. Donorsmust prioritise them in the fi
rst years of the country‟s independence so
as to ensure the best possible results for the people of South Sudan.
 
 2
 
 3
Summary
Amidst jubilant celebration in July 2011, the new Republic of SouthSudan entered the international stage albeit as one of the leastdeveloped countries in the world. One in eight children die before theirfifth birthday, the maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in theworld and more than half the population lives below the poverty line.Against a backdrop of chronic under-development, the country isacutely vulnerable to recurring conflict and climatic shocks. More than220,000 people were displaced last year due to conflict and more than100,000 were affected by floods; and already this year, fighting in the
disputed border areas, clashes between the Sudan People‟s Liberation
Army (SPLA) and militia groups, disputes over land and cattle, and
attacks by the Lord‟s Resistance Army, have forced nearly 300,000
people from their homes. The situation is exacerbated by a continuinginflux of returnees, restricted movement across the northern border,high fuel prices and regional shortages in food stocks. South Sudan is acontext that challenges normal development paradigms and fitsawkwardly in the humanitarian relief
 –
recovery
 –
post-conflictdevelopment continuum. This complexity has not always been reflectedin the strategies of either donors or implementing agencies.Following sustained international attention since the signing of theComprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, the humanitariansituation has improved. As explained by one county government
authority, „now there are boreholes, some
bomas 
have schools, … andbasic services are starting to reach to the outlying areas.‟
Manycommunities share the sentiment across the country.But enormous challenges remain, and humanitarian and developmentactors face multiple, competing priorities: meeting emergencyhumanitarian needs; strengthening community resilience; addressingthe underlying drivers of conflict; promoting the development ofsustainable livelihoods; ensuring that humanitarian and developmentassistance promote equitable development; supporting the governmentto protect vulnerable groups; strengthening civil society; and ensuringuninterrupted service delivery while simultaneously strengtheningnational institutions and ultimately empowering the government toassume responsibility for meeting the needs of its citizens.Over the coming years, donors have a window of opportunity to supportthe fledgling government to tackle chronic poverty and insecurity andmake meaningful progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.This paper highlights ten priority areas for action that, in the view ofNGOs operating in South Sudan and based on lessons learnt duringthe CPA interim period, must be prioritised by donors in the first yearsof the co
untry‟s independence so as to ensure the best possible results
for the people of South Sudan.

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"A report presents the views of 38 aid agencies working on peace-building, development, and humanitarian assistance in South Sudan."
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