A Frontier (Europe) report on the economic cost of war in South Sudan was today launched in Nairobi, Kenya. The report estimates the cost of the conflict to South Sudan, regional neighbours and to the international community.
Violent civil conflict broke out in December 2013 in South Sudan, as a result of long-standing political and ethnic rivalries. The conflict has already led to tens of thousands deaths, and has put over a third of South Sudan’s population at risk of famine.
Frontier’s report finds that if the conflict persists for another 1 to 5 years, the costs for South Sudan in terms of lost growth opportunities over a 20 year period could be between US$122 billion and US$158 billion in today’s prices. This is more than 12 times South Sudan’s current GDP.
Importantly, the report also finds that the conflict has significant spillover costs to neighbouring countries, and that these escalate rapidly the longer the conflict lasts. The five countries considered in the report – Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda – could between them avoid losses of up to US$53 billion in foregone growth if the conflict were resolved within 1 year, rather than allowed to last for a further 5 years.
South Sudan is already the second-largest recipient of international humanitarian aid. The longer the conflict lasts, the more likely it is to generate significant costs to the international community. The report estimates that resolving the conflict by the end of 2015 would save the international community close to US$30 billion, compared to a situation in which it was allowed to continue for another 5 years.
Frontier (Europe) has advised several non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations on economic issues around conflict resolution, diplomacy and dispute resolution.
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