This policy brief studies the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan. The findings are educative. First, the health effects of the pandemic in the country have been surprisingly less pronounced than expected, marked by very low morbidity and fatality rates. Second, despite this positive health news, the pandemic has had negative effects on the economy, starting with dramatic declines in domestic production and revenue collection, followed by a very volatile rising cost of living. These economic consequences are far-reaching, severely weakening, for example, human capital formation, especially in education, as the lockdown has deprived some 2 million school-age children of learning opportunities. Finally, economic recovery from COVID-19 will require a coordinated strategy that fosters broadened synergies in response to sector-specific COVID-19 ramifications. Interventions that prioritize smaller firms and women enterprises should be in order.
Augustino Ting Mayai is the Director of Research at the Sudd Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology, with concentrations on demography and development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently studies how state effectiveness affects child health outcomes in South Sudan and Ethiopia. Dr. Mayai has written extensively on South Sudan's current affairs.