South Sudan: Nation-Building, Step by Step

New video explores the complexities of creating the world's newest nation
South Sudan landscape.
A beautiful sunset in a new nation. Photo: T. Frank, ACF-South Sudan

Imagine waking up one day to find that you had no national identity. No flag, no national anthem. No public services or public works. No justice system, no infrastructure. It'd be a bad dream, right? Well, that nightmare was actually reality a year and a half ago for what is now the population of South Sudan, the world's newest nation. From the ashes of conflict with its neighbor to the north, South Sudan began the arduous process of literally molding a brand new country. It's the subject of a fascinating new video "Op-Doc" featured on, called "How to Build a Country from Scratch." Watch as the South Sudanese select a capital, determine how to collect taxes, and more. 

It's a fascinating case study for those of us in the humanitarian world. We at Action Against Hunger have been in South Sudan since its conception, focusing on curbing high childhood malnutrition rates and providing assistance in the wake of emergencies, like Fall 2012 flooding. In 2012 alone we treated more than 33,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition, helped nearly 60,000 South Sudanese increase their food security and develop livelihoods to support their families, and provided water, sanitation, and hygiene services to 150,000 people. The needs are great in this new nation, but we're proud to work together with the people of South Sudan to help them build strong, sustainable futures at home.

Tell Us What You Think

What elements of building a nation from scratch do you think would be the most challenging? If you could pick one project to lead in a nation-building process (developing a government, writing a national anthem, etc.) what would you select and why?

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About Elisabeth Anderson Rapport

Elisabeth Anderson Rapport, Senior Communications Officer

Elisabeth is Action Against Hunger's senior communications officer, reporting on our impact and current events around the world.

Tags: South Sudan