Home | News    Thursday 1 March 2012

S. Sudan seeks over US$90 million for 2014 census

By Ngor Arol Garang

February 29, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan announced it was seeking US$99 million in funding to conduct a census, which has been encountering that may prevent the exercise planned for 2014 from taking place.

Speaking at a weekly press briefing in Juba on Tuesday, Isaiah Chol Aruai, chairperson of the National Bureau of Statistics said his commission was facing numerous challenges.

Aruai said as well as the funding, there is an urgent need from government and development partners to assist the commission. He further told journalists that his commission has not received adequate funding from the government.

“If you look at financial allocations since the establishment of this commission in 2006, you will realise that we have always have issues that needs to be addressed with urgency if the government needs quality data and information,” said Aruai.

Aruai blamed national ministry of public services, labour and human resource development for taking too long to complete the employment process for some staff members.

He said his commission was supposed to hire 382 employees but because of the difficulties with funding, the institution is operating with only 266 from which 12 officers, including directors, have have left their posts.

“Half of the population of South Sudan lives below the standard poverty line,” said Aruai, explaining that Northern Bahr el Ghazal state was the most poverty stricken, followed by Unity then Warrap.

Aruai warned of the looming environmental crisis due to deforestation as a result of an increase in the population size. He said 96 percent of the population rely upon firewood or charcoal for cooking stressing it represent a real threat for South Sudan’s forests.