South Sudan’s conflict could cost regional nations Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania a combined $53 billion if it lasts another five years.
The country is grappling with refugees, security needs and other spillover effects, a report said on Wednesday.
London-based consultancy Frontier Economics estimated that South Sudan’s economy contracted by 15 per cent last year as a result of the civil war, which has killed more than 10,000 people in the world’s newest country and curtailed oil output.
The human and economic costs of the conflict highlight the need for swift international efforts to end the fighting, the report said.
It forecast South Sudan would forego up to $28 billion in economic growth if the war were to continue for five years while Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania would have to take in more refugees and face extra security costs.
South Sudan’s annual gross domestic product was estimated at $11.08 billion in 2013, according to World Bank data.
“Without a swift end to the fighting, South Sudan runs the risk of becoming a failed state,” said the report, released in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. “Worse still, it could become the epicentre of a full-blown regional conflict.”
“To ensure this is not the trajectory for South Sudan will require African leaders, with the full backing of the international community, to take swift and decisive action, and to sustain that action,” it said.