Climate crisis triggers increased displacements in South Sudan 

Climate crisis triggers increased displacements in South Sudan 
South Sudanese refugees at Dzaipi transit centre in northern Uganda (photo credit: UNHCR)

South Sudan is among the East African and Horn of Africa countries facing increased cases of displacement, with the number of internally displaced persons hitting 8.1 million.

Speaking during the 4th Ministerial Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday, the national minister of labour, James Hoth, said 30 per cent of this number is in South Sudan and there is an additional 865,000 migrant workers who are underutilized.

“South Sudan is offering both opportunities and challenges that must be managed,” he said. 

He said migration in the region is shaped by technological transformation, economics, insecurity, and environmental degradation, with a significant number of people becoming displaced due to climate-induced disasters. 

The minister added that around 35 per cent of African migrants take the East and Horn of Africa route, with destinations in Europe or the GCC countries.

More than 1.2 million in diaspora remit up to 13 per cent of their yearly income to South Sudan, contributing to 6.7 per cent of the country’s GDP.

The remittances have been used not only for daily needs but also to support their communities at home in response to disasters, including investing in green economies.

To address the challenges and benefit from the opportunities that migration offers, Hoth emphasised the importance of creating a more inclusive approach to creating job opportunities using evidence and technology. 

He said South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour had launched the establishment of the Labor Market Information System (LMIS), which he said, when fully functioning, would allow the ministry to understand the profiles of the labor force in the country.

“This system will support developing policies that will create more sustainable employment that is beneficial for both labor and employers,” he said.

However, Hoth acknowledged that labour migration is key to building a robust labour migration governance system.

In this regard, promoting regular, orderly, and skills-sensitive labor migration in accordance with assessed labor market needs, as well as safeguarding the welfare of migrant workers abroad and their families, is paramount. 

However, challenges of pre-departure training, language, and cultural barriers, among others, are encountered during the facilitation of intra- and extra-regional labor mobility.