On Saturday 9 July South Sudan officially became independent of the North. This historic event took place under turbulent conditions: the border states of Abyei and Kordofan are disputed and fought; a large refugee flow has started; sexual violence against women is frightening increasing; and the southern army uses excessive force against elements that the army is not satisfied with.
There is a general consensus – at least in the international community – that 9 July is no reason for a big party. However, the occasion is an excellent opportunity to further endorse that South Sudan, especially after it became independent, should keep its attention to providing essential services to its residents, such as health care and education. The expectations of the population in this respect are quite high. And right so. Only twenty percent of the population has access to health care, and eighty percent of health services is accounted for by aid agencies, not the government.
The future stability of South Sudan is partly depending on the role and responsibility the government takes in this area. As a new state, the Republic of South Sudan will need all the support that the international community can offer. It is very important that future financing mechanisms are guaranteed and established correctly. At least it is clear South Sudan can benefit by a major reform of donor assistance mechanisms.
The momentum is there – people are optimistic and hopeful - so there is urgency to straighten things out in the support to South Sudan.