New nation of South Sudan will face enormous challenges

Boys in South SudanThe new nation of South Sudan will face enormous challenges of grappling with poverty, illiteracy and a lack of basic health and sanitation services.

That's the assessment of the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Lazarous Kapambwe of Zambia who opened an event on "Promoting durable peace and sustainable development in the Sudan and South Sudan.

He quoted statistics from the United Nations Country Team painting a grim picture of the territory that will become independent on 9 July and become a new member of the United Nations.

"Ninety per cent of the population lives below the income poverty line, 92 per cent of women cannot read or write, one out of every 7 children dies before their fifth birthday, few children complete primary school, 80 per cent of the population lacks access to regular basic health centres and only 6.4 per cent of the population has access to sanitation facilities."

Ambassador Kapambwe stressed that economic and social development can only occur if basic security is provided.

At the same time, he added, rapid implementation of economic and social programmes could help stabilize the fragile security situation.

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
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