South Sudan Receives $200 Million to Strengthen Health Systems and Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccination

JUBA —Today the World Bank approved $200 million in additional financing to support South Sudan’s continued efforts to improve its capacity to respond to COVID-19. This International Development Association (IDA*) grant will also help strengthen health service delivery for the general population and expand service provision to vulnerable groups in Upper Nile State, Jonglei State, Greater Pibor Administrative Area, and Ruweng Administrative Area.

South Sudan has been struggling with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the low vaccination rates across the country due to existing deployment constraints, vaccine hesitancy, and a lack of access to other vaccine sources beyond COVAX. Furthermore, the unprecedented floods in 2021 and 2022 have hampered vaccine deployment efforts, increasing risks of social exclusion particularly of those living in remote, conflict, and flood-affected areas.

“This additional financing will help the Government of South Sudan address challenges in both the procurement and deployment of vaccines by supporting the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines for 30 percent of the total population. It will also help the country address the urgent health and nutrition needs of refugees and host communities along with populations affected by the flooding in several states,” said Firas Raad, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan. “By strengthening South Sudan’s disease surveillance systems and laboratory capacity, the project will also contribute to improving health systems and emergency preparedness at the national and subnational levels.”

Since its launch in June 2021, the South Sudan COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems reparedness Project, financed by the World Bank and implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), has been supporting the country to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19. It has, for example, helped accelerate vaccine deployment efforts and increased access to essential health services in the states of Upper Nile, Jonglei, and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area. Additionally, the project has been supporting the government’s stewardship of the health sector and its preparedness systems. This additional financing will provide a big boost to the country’s effort to procure COVID-19 vaccines and scale-up of its vaccination efforts nationwide.

“The additional financing will play a critical role in ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for the entire population, but particularly vulnerable and geographically disadvantaged communities that include refugees and their host communities. These extra resources will enable the country to strengthen its health system preparedness and help address the urgent health and nutrition needs in several of our states,” said Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, Undersecretary for South Sudan’s Ministry of Health.

The additional financing for the South Sudan COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project includes $50 million from the IDA Window for Host Communities and Refugees (WHR) and $40 million from the IDA Crisis Response Window (CRW).

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks

 

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