Region: Northern Africa
Official Language/s: Arabic, English
Health: Southern Sudan is recognized as encompassing some of the worst health indicators in the world. In 2004, Southern Sudan had only three surgeons working in three established hospitals. In some parts of the country there was only one doctor for every 500,000 people. This is worsened by the fact that only 56% of the population has access to clean water and a mere 31% has access to appropriate sanitation facilities. As a result The United Nations estimates more than three and a half million people in Darfur depend on humanitarian aid.
Foreign: Sudan has traditionally had a difficult relationship with neighboring countries and international bodies due to it often being viewed as aggressively Islamic. In addition the Sudanese Government has also experienced criticism as a result of its support of anti-Uganda groups. Consequently the recent foreign relations of Sudan have focused on support for the termination of the civil war and condemnation of government support for militias.
Human Rights: Sudan’s people face many humanitarian hardships. Conflicts between the government and rebel groups have resulted in rape, torture, killings, and massive population displacements (estimated at over 2 million in 2007). In addition to this the Sudanese government has come under International scrutiny in regard to child abuse, including sexual violence and recruitment of child soldiers, trafficking in persons, discrimination, labor including child labor as well as freedom of speech.
Economy: Sudan has the sixth fastest growing economy in the world however it still faces major economic difficulties. Sudan has been carrying out macroeconomic reforms that were suggested by the International Monetary Fund and began exporting crude oil in 1999. Oil production which is now at 520,000 barrels per day has aided the rejuvenation of light industry and sustained GDP growth at 6.1% in 2003.
Demographics: Sudan has an estimated population of 39.4 million people. This consists of 597 tribes that speak over 400 different languages or dialects. However the country is predominately made up of two distinctive cultures, Arabs with Nubian roots and non-Arab Black Africans. The northern state which covers most of Sudan is populated by Arabic speaking Muslims. The southern region has a population of around 6 million and a predominantly rural, subsistence economy which has been devastated by war.