When the pandemic struck, many feared South Sudan could be one of the hardest hit countries in Africa – years of conflict had hollowed out its healthcare system and the threat of famine was on the horizon. Heeding the warnings, the European Union, the United States and the World Bank chipped in more than $100m for the COVID-19 response, while the International Monetary Fund has given some $200m in loans. A black market appeared for COVID-19 tests that were supposed to be free. An inflated contract was awarded to a company to renovate a hospital that still sits empty. And the government authorised one small outfit to produce hand sanitiser – while banning imports of the product as people scrambled to find supplies. The New Humanitarian found these and other examples after interviewing nearly 30 government officials, business owners and aid workers, as well as reviewing documents, emails and text messages as part of an eight-month investigation with Al Jazeera.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA