South Sudan to Benefit from World Bank Support for Social Safety Net

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $40 million International Development Association (IDA*) grant for the benefit of the people of South Sudan. The South Sudan Safety Net Project (SSSNP) will expand access to safety net and provide income security for low income South Sudanese, while strengthening delivery tools and local level capacities.

Since 2014, the World Bank has provided safety net support to South Sudan through investment targeted at poor and vulnerable households. It also helped to establish the building blocks of a national social protection system for effective and accountable delivery of safety net assistance while mitigating high operational, fiduciary and safeguards risks in the country.

“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 for the Republic of South Sudan. “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.

Nearly 430,000 people will receive cash transfers in 10 counties across South Sudan, including Juba. Specifically, the project will provide cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable people for working on public works projects. It will also provide direct grants to those who are unable to work, including people with disabilities, the elderly and pregnant or breastfeeding women, among others. SSSNP will also strengthen existing safety net tools and enhance local level to enable them to take a lead in their own development interventions.

“In the first phase, the SSSNP will scale up direct income support in Juba 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 project locations across the country,” said Husam Abudagga, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan.

The SSSNP aims to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus by addressing urgent needs in the short term, while strengthening community and institutional capacities in the medium term. This will form the foundation of a local governance structure and strengthen delivery tools for gradual move from humanitarian approaches to longer term sustainable development. The SSSNP benefits from strong commitment and ownership by the Government. The project will be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), in close collaboration with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and development partners.

* The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.