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State of (dis)grace

Floods, war and famine extinguish hopes in the world’s youngest country

South Sudan is the world’s youngest country, and an emblem of failure. In July 2022, when celebrations were held to mark the 11th anniversary of independence from neighboring Sudan, there was little to celebrate. Since 2013, the country has been torn apart by a civil war between ethnic groups that has left more than 400,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. The state administration has failed to consolidate national unity, but neither has it succeeded in building basic infrastructure. Over the past two years, much of the country has been hit by giant floods that have submerged

fields, compromised crops and dealt the death blow to the population. And the situation has, if possible, been further aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the blockade of grain exports: UN agencies have seen their budgets reduced by almost half and in many cases have had to stop sending food and humanitarian aid. After two years, the water flooding South Sudan has not receded, and no one can explain why. And the country, in which war continues to rage, is increasingly dependent on foreign aid.


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