This report explains the realities of life for South Sudan’s youth population, the majority of whom are living in conditions of extreme economic precarity. Young people face enormous challenges in trying to survive and progress in their lives. This is happening in the context of overarching neglect of the citizenry by the government, corruption, ethnic based violent conflict and competition for control of the economy and natural resources.
South Sudan’s youth do not consider livelihood support interventions by international actors to have contributed to any significant and sustainable impact. Instead, they consider the international approach to have predominantly focused on individual entrepreneurship, market engagement and small business support that people are already involved with, but which face the challenging conditions described above.
This research, which was led by a team of young Southern Sudanese who have first-hand experience of these challenges, concludes that there remains an urgent need to better understand how genuinely sustainable livelihood interventions might work, and what international support for nation building and economic recovery might look like. These strategies would need to challenge some of the recurrent, abusive economic relationships, as well as the exclusive and elitist character of international assistance itself.
The report is available to download here.