After decades of conflict between the northern and southern regions of Sudan – which engulfed the country in two phases of civil war from 1955 to 1972 and 1982 to 2005 and resulted in the loss of 2.5 million lives1 – a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005 between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). One of the key clauses of the Peace Agreement was the recognition of South Sudan’s right to hold a referendum on whether to remain part of Sudan or secede to form a new nation. A referendum was held in January 2011 and resulted in a 98.8% approval of the option to secede . The Republic of South Sudan (population 8.26 million3 ) was established on July 9th 2011.
Sudan is in a critical political, socio-economic and demographic transition, particularly in the post-cessation era, together with emerging national opportunities and challenges vis-à-vis the changing governance in the Arab region and the internationally down-turning economies. The newly two established post-cessation countries (Sudan and Southern Sudan) have serious disputes and a long trail to reach a peaceful coexistence. Although the Government has recently signed Peace Agreement in Doha with some of the Darfuri rebel movements, brutal fighting is perpetual in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and some pockets in Darfur.
The authors hypothesize a relationship between household assets inequality, conflict and poor health outcomes in Sudan. Sudan’s 31 million people represent diverse cultures, both Arabic and African.Sudan is a poor country, with a Human Development index of 0.41, ranking 171st of 187 countries. The country has suffered political instability since independence from Britain in 1956,with two revolutions and a 40-year civil war. Armed conflict in western Sudan and states bordering South Sudan is ongoing (Central Intelligence Agency 2013).
Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, sits at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. Sudan itself, recipient of the rich and diverse influences from both northern and sub-Saharan Africa, sits at the confluence of different races, religions and cultures. This report finds that unlike the Nile, whose two branches meet and together form one of the world’s mightiest rivers, Sudan remains racked by division and divergence, with inequality being their root cause.
Women account for over 60% of the population in South Sudan. This is not a force of nature but a direct result of over 39 years of conflict since Sudan’s Independence. Years of conflict has not only deprived women of their dependents – husbands and sons, but the disturbing and conventional post-war society coupled with discriminatory cultural traditions and abject poverty undermines the promotion of equal rights and the ability for women to actively participate in the development of the new nation. Over 90% of women in South Sudan are illiterate, and 50% of girls under the age of 18 are married which contributes to the high rate of maternal mortality in the country which is still thought to be the highest in the world. While the number of girls enrolled in school has increased over the last few years since the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement in 2005, the percentage of girls at school compared to boys lingers at around 37%. This number severely declines for education past primary school level. Gender based violence is a reality for many women, and abortion is illegal even when a woman has been raped. The Rule of law is largely in existent and the majority of cases are dealt with using customary law which inevitably discriminate women and the minorities.
Why are at least 25% of girls dropping out of university in Ethiopia (compared to 8% of boys), with the majority leaving university during the first year?
Assumption: Transition from secondary to tertiary level is a dramatic event characterized by discontinuity and transformation.
Hypothesis: Effective transition requires adaptive competencies that can be applied to the academic environment and Ethiopian girls are less equipped than boys as a result of their different life experiences.
Economic inequality has worsened significantly in Malawi in recent years. In 2004, the richest 10 percent of Malawians consumed 22 times more than the poorest 10 percent. By 2011 this had risen to see the richest 10 percent spending 34 times more than the poorest. Yet even this shocking statistic is likely to be a significant underestimate1. Anyone who has seen the many large mansions springing up on the edges of Lilongwe and Blantyre, and the plethora of new shopping malls being opened, knows that conspicuous consumption amongst the richest is dramatically growing. Malawi’s Gini coefficient, the key measure of inequality, also shows the extent to which robust economic growth is benefiting the rich whilst leaving the poor behind. In seven years of impressive growth, the Gini has leapt up from 0.39, on a par with Cameroon, to 0.45, on a par with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Malawi continues to face rising numbers of people infected by HIV with approximately one million adults and children currently infected. With Global Fund resources, Malawi aims to provide anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to at least 50,000 people over a 5-year period (depending on the cost of drugs and infrastructure capacity). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10-15% of all HIV positive people will progress to AIDS at any given point in time. Based on this about 100,000 to 150,000 Malawians would need ART at any one time, hence there is an enormous shortfall. The challenge will be to decide who should have access to ART given the limited resources.
Ethiopia is a fascinating country, full of potential, contrasts and challenges, with a Government that has shown a high level of commitment to overcoming its development challenges. Government partners are driving a holistic process of transformation which incorporates the voices of the poor and vulnerable at local level. The current five-year national development plan, the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) (2010/11–2014/15), envisages a major transformation of the national economy to focus on green and equitable growth while continuing to emphasize human development, women’s empowerment and governance. The Government is also focusing on the grassroots level and empowering regional and district authorities to generate appropriate responses to their own development constraints.
The UN in Ethiopia has voluntarily opted into the UN Delivering as One reform agenda to streamline its contributions to helping Ethiopia meet its development objectives. Our worldwide expertise in supporting development built up over the past 60 years, strengthened by the distinct added knowledge that each of our agencies brings to the table, positions us well to assist the Government in its transformation process. Furthermore, our close partnership with the Government makes for more sustainable support for Ethiopia as the country continues to make tremendous inroads towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, as well as its ambitious objectives for long-term development.
Increasing Poverty and Inequality: Malawi is one of the world’s poorest economies ranking 171 out of 187 in the Human Development Index (HDI). Malawi has made some progress on its Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) but is still unlikely to meet most targets. Poverty levels in Malawi remain at 51% and have not registered a significant reduction since 2004. Rural poverty has increased to 56.6% as has income inequality. There has been some progress on under five and infant mortality, HIV treatment and access to water and sanitation. Maternal mortality remains high with 10 women dying daily. One in five children of school going age is still out of school. Gender inequalities persist in every sector. Rapid population growth combined with the effects of climate change are causing severe stress on agriculture and undermining food security.