The Republic of South Sudan is a landlocked country, with a land area of 644,329 square km and a total population of about 8,079,000 (World Bank 2011 est.). Approximately 80% of the population lives in rural areas and works in agriculture. South Sudan has large oil revenues, with nearly 98% of the country’s budget revenues from oil. Large quantities of the country’s oil are exported through two pipelines that run to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea. South Sudan’s industrial sector and socio-economic infrastructure is still underdeveloped. The country largely depends on imported goods, services and capital from Sudan. Poverty rates are very high and subsistence agriculture remains the main source of income for the vast majority of the population. South Sudan has one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa; located in the White Nile valley, the region is very fertile, with sufficient water supplies. The South Sudan government has an economic growth target set at 6% for 2011, which is projected to increase to 7.2% in 2012.
South Sudan has seven major land systems and livelihood zones: the Western Flood Plains, the Eastern Flood Plains, the Nile and Sobat Rivers, the Ironstone Plateau, the Greenbelt, the Hills and Mountains, and the Arid/Pastoral Zone. The country’s landscape is made up of tropical rainforests, extensive flood plains and the Sudd wetlands, which is a swampy area formed by the White Nile, a main tributary of the Nile River. Making up more than 15% of the country’s total area, it is one of the largest wetlands in the world. South Sudan faces a number of natural hazard risks, including floods and drought. Climate variability is likely to negatively impact agriculture, while projected increases in rainfall intensity may increase the risk of floods and the spread of waterborne diseases.
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities