South Sudan: Some Facts and Figures of the New Nation.
Our interest in the birth of this new Nation springs from the fact that we are all part of the community of nations, and that as Claretian Missionaries we are involved in the so called South Sudan Project, where, together with many other Missionary Congregations, try to train teachers and nurses that can make a difference in this new country.
South Sudan: Facts and figures:
• Population: 7.5-9.7 million
• Size: 619,745 sq km (239,285 sq miles), larger than Spain and Portugal combined
• Major languages: English, Arabic (both official), Juba Arabic, Dinka
• Religion: Traditional and a Christian minority
• Main export: Oil
• One of world's least developed countries: Worst maternal mortality rate; most children below 13 not in school; 84% of women are illiterate
• Relations with Sudan: Dividing debts and oil; border disputes; citizenship
• Security: At least seven active rebel groups
For starters the statistics are shocking:
• One out of every seven children dies before their fifth birthday
• South Sudan has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world
• One out of seven women who become pregnant will probably die from pregnancy-
• More than half of children between the ages of six and 13 are not in formal education
• 84% of women cannot read or write. Only 6% of girls who start school ever finish.
We present here Geography, Ethnic Groups, Education and Oil Resources. Data has been taken from BBC article "South Sudan: how long the smiles will last".
The great divide across Sudan is visible even from space, as this Nasa satellite image shows. The northern states are a blanket of desert, broken only by the fertile Nile corridor. South Sudan is covered by green swathes of grassland, swamps and tropical forest.
Sudan's arid north is mainly home to Arabic-speaking Muslims. But in South Sudan there is no dominant culture. The Dinkas and the Nuers are the largest of more than 200 ethnic groups, each with its own languages and traditional beliefs, alongside Christianity and Islam
Sudan exports billions of dollars of oil per year. Southern states produce more than 80% of it, but receive only 50% of the revenue. The pipelines run north but the two sides have still not agreed how to share the oil wealth in the future.
Throughout Sudan, access to primary school education is strongly linked to household earnings. In the poorest parts of the south, less than 1% of children finish primary school. Whereas in the wealthier north, up to 50% of children complete primary level education.