Covid 19: World Bank approves $40 million to support 65000 households in South Sudan

by Muizat Hameed

World Bank’s International Development Association has approved $40 million grant to provide income support to nearly 430 000 low income South Sudanese.

While disclosing this in Sudan on Thursday April 30, 2020, the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Josephine Joseph Lagu, stated that the project would be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services in South Sudan.

UNOPS will deliver the South Sudan Safety Net Project (SSSNP), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Finance and Planning to ensure that low income and vulnerable people are provided with reliable access to income opportunities and temporary employment.

“I am very pleased that South Sudan is receiving additional funding which will be used to build on the achievements of previous safety net projects while scaling up the provision of predictable and reliable cash transfers to vulnerable South Sudanese,” said Hon. Josephine Joseph Lagu, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security .

“This will not only improve food security for thousands of people, but it will also increase their resilience to economic and climate-related crises or shocks,” she added.

The Project comes at the unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to adapt the Project to the COVID-19 context and address rising socio-economic vulnerability, the project will rapidly roll-out immediate direct income support and respond to the economic impact of COVID-19 on the lives of the vulnerable communities.

Husam Abudagga, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan speaking at virtual project debrief meeting attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, and the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the World Bank team, and UNOPS representatives said “In the first phase, the SSSNP will scale up direct income support in Juba County to provide rapid cash transfers to address emerging vulnerabilities amidst COVID 19 outbreak. As the COVID 19 situation subsides, cash transfers will be expanded in all the other nine project locations across the country.”

Peter Mutoredzanwa, the Country Representative of UNOPS in South Sudan reiterated that: “UNOPS continues to work closely with the World Bank, the Government of South Sudan and other key partners to deliver essential social services, improve living conditions and enhance social development.”

He further added that “ The project will address immediate consumption gaps by scaling up cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households by facilitating improved and more frequent meals.”

The Project will provide income security to the most vulnerable households – including households with people with extreme vulnerabilities , such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, expectant women and those living with HIV/AIDS amongst others.

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