South Sudan

Country background

The Republic of  South Sudan is a landlocked country in East Africa and borders  Sudan (1,937 km) from the north, Ethiopia (883 km) from the east, Kenya (232 km), Uganda ( 435 km) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (628 km) from the south and the Central African Republic (682 km) from the west. South Sudan has land area of approximately 640,000 square km (excluding Abeyi) with a population estimate of 8,260,490 inhabitants, of which 82% live in the rural areas (approx. average of 13.5 persons per square km) and an annual growth rate of 55% (Statistical Yearbook for Southern Sudan, 2009). She gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 agreement that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war. South Sudan is mostly covered in tropical forest, swamps, and grassland.

The climate ranges from Tropical Semi-Humid climate with a short rainy season in the north to Tropical Wet-Dry and Tropical Rainy climates with progressively longer wet seasons in the south. The south is characterized by much more rainfall and strong seasonal annual variations. The mean annual rainfall ranges between 500 mm in the north to 1,500 mm in the south (8-9 months a year).  The White Nile passes through the country, passing by the capital city of Juba. Half the water of the White Nile is lost in the swamps as vegetation absorbs it or animals drink it.

The largest wetlands and flood plains are, covering 5% of the country, all linked to the Nile tributaries that traverse the central plains. The Sudd wetland is one of the main hydrological features of South Sudan. It is the largest wetland that is formed by the White Nile in very flat topography between the towns of Bor and Malakal, covering more than 30,000 km2. The Sudd comprises multiple channels, lakes and swamps, with a maze of thick emergent aquatic vegetation. In June 2006, an area totalling 57,000 km2 was declared Africa’s second largest Ramsar site. More importantly, its ecosystem services are of immense economic and biological importance for the entire region.

The Imatong Mountains are located in the southeast of South Sudan in the erstwhile state of Eastern Equatoria, and extend into Uganda. Mount Kinyeti is the highest mountain of the range at 3,187 metres (10,456 ft), and the highest in the whole of South Sudan. The range has an equatorial climate and had dense montane forests supporting diverse wildlife. In recent years the rich ecology has been severely degraded by forest clearance and subsistence farming, leading to extensive erosion of the steep slopes.

The 2013-2016 civil war displaced 2.6 million people and threatened the success of one of the world’s newest countries.


National IDDRSI Platform

The South Sudan Programming Paper (CPP) was developed and finalized in March 2004 to end drought emergencies in the region.  The CPP outlines a coordination mechanism that was developed through consultation and consensus building between government, development partners, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders. The Coordination Mechanism structure includes an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee, a multi-stakeholder Technical Committee, and a multi-stakeholder Task Team. The Delivery of the CPP will be led by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and designated lead ministries and government agencies will coordinate technical stakeholders at the component level.

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Therefore, South Sudan IDDRSI Platform Coordination Mechanism (PCM) is housed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.  Key principles of the Coordination Mechanism include government ownership and leadership, multi-sectoral representation, state and multi-stakeholder representation and participation, sustained technical assistance and capacity building. IDDRSI  PCM includes:

1/ Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC):
2/ Technical Committee (TC):
3/Task Team (TT):
4/At the component level:
Designated lead ministries and agencies are coordinating the technical stakeholders in implementation of IDDRSI Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs) thus:
1. Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC):

This body is constituted by all the Ministers of all the relevant ministries, as the highest decision making organ.  It is chaired by the Minister of Environment and Forestry and co-chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.  The key functions of the IMSC are provision of political support and policy directives, approval of resource utilization, linkage to the Council of Ministers and Transitional National Legislative Assembly and reporting to the Vice President who is the patron of the Coordination Mechanism in the Country.  

2. Technical Committee (TC):

The Technical Committee is constituted of the Undersecretaries and Heads of participating Ministries, and agencies, key technical development partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private sector and the head of the IDDRSI secretariat within the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The main functions of the TC include; supervision of the implementation of the IDDRSI, guiding resource mobilization and coordinate resource allocation, monitoring progress, and reporting to the IMSC.  

The TC is chaired by the Undersecretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, co-chaired by the Undersecretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

3. Task Team (TT):

This is a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder in constitution, with leadership from within government. The membership includes middle level/ technical staff from government ministries and agencies, focal points from each state, expert(s) (technical assistance from IGAD and other Development Partners (DP) and technical representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and private sector. The TT main functions are planning and budgeting for all activities, coordinating and communicating with the stakeholders, organizing meetings and workshops, preparing minutes of the meetings, collecting and analysing data, conducting field visits, disseminating information, reporting the progress of IDDRSI implementation to the TC and obtaining feedback on regular basis.

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