Overview

  • The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation and Africa’s 55th country on July 9, 2011.

    The renewed conflicts in December 2013 and July 2016 have undermined the development gains achieved since independence and worsened the humanitarian situation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, more than 4.2 million people have been displaced both internally and to neighboring countries, and about 5.3 million (nearly half the population) face severe food insecurity. Without conflict resolution and a framework for peace and security, the country’s longer-term development and prosperity are threatened. 

    South Sudan is the most oil-dependent country in the world, with oil accounting for almost the totality of exports, and around 60% of its gross domestic product (GDP). On current reserve estimates, oil production is expected to reduce steadily in future years and to become negligible by 2035.

    The country’s growth domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2014 was $1,111 dropping to less than $200 in 2017. Outside the oil sector, livelihoods are concentrated in low productive, unpaid agriculture and pastoralists work

    South Sudan’s economic collapse continues in FY17 (July 2017/June 2018), with output contracting, and inflation and parallel exchange market premium soaring.

    The economy is estimated to have contracted by about 6.9% in FY17 due to the ongoing conflict, oil production disruptions and below-average agriculture production. Declining oil production have put additional pressure on an economy already weakened by the 2012 oil export shutdown (linked to a dispute with Sudan about transit fees) and the civil war.

    The monetization of the fiscal deficit, accelerated inflation from 187% in June 2016 to 550% September 2016 before declining to 362%in June 2017. As the pace of money printing slowed in recent months, inflation decelerated to 118% during December 2016–December 2017. Driven by foreign exchange shortages, the South Sudanese Pound (SSP) continued its depreciation on both the official and the parallel market. Since the move from a fixed exchange rate arrangement to a managed float in 2016, the SSP has depreciated by 90% (by end-December 2017) with ongoing pressure as evidenced by the continued spread between the official and parallel market exchange rates.

    The fiscal deficit is estimated at about 4.6%of GDP in FY17 due to falling government revenues and rising security-related spending. Expenditures are skewed toward defense at the expense of poverty reduction. Security and accountability/public administration and rule of law spending have accounted for over 70%of the total budget over the past three fiscal years. By contrast, combined expenditures on health and education are expected to make up around 6%of total government spending.

    The first challenge is restoring peace and security through cessation of hostilities and implementation of governance and security arrangements that serve the interests of the nation's people.

    The is an urgent need for the government to implement comprehensive macroeconomic reforms to unify the official and parallel exchange markets and reduce inflation, as well as longer-term action to boost employment, build infrastructure, and diversify the economy, with special emphasis on agriculture development. Without the government’s real commitment and proactive action to end the conflict and stabilize the economy, it is premature to envisage a post-conflict path for the economy.

    Last Updated: May 03, 2018

  • The World Bank has been engaged since the conclusion of the North-South Agreement in 2005 and the creation of the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan. After independence, in April 2012, South Sudan became a member of the World Bank Group (the World Bank) and an Interim Strategy Note (ISN) was endorsed by the Board to cover the years FY2013-14. The resumption of conflict, however, was a critical set-back to the country program in particular and for development in general.

    Following the signing of the Agreement and the formation of the Transitional Government in 2015, the World Bank started preparing a Country Engagement Note (CEN) to guide its intervention in the country over a period of 24 months (FY2018-19). While, the resumption of conflict in July 2016 delayed its preparation, the CEN was finalized and endorsed by the Board of Executive Directors on January 16, 2018.

    The CEN was informed by the findings of a Systematic Country Diagnostic (October 2015)  which identifies the key constraints and opportunities facing the country in achieving adequate progress toward the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity in a sustainable way.  Its design involved extensive consultations with key stakeholders and took into consideration the comparative advantage of the World Bank vis-a-vis those of other development partners engaged in South Sudan. 

    Last Updated: May 03, 2018

  • Below is a selection of key World Bank achievements in South Sudan from 2008 to 2018:

    Ensuring Food Security and Nutrition through Innovation

    • Since 2009, the Bank has invested $79.43 million in two projects to respond to the need to boost production and restore agriculture livelihoods while remaining flexible enough to respond to food security emergencies. 
    • The Emergency Food Crisis Response Project introduced new seeds technologies which enabled over 229,000 farmers to increase productivity. Additionally, the adoption of post-harvest technology helped 125,211 farmers to convert over 104,740 hectares of idle land into productive land.
    • Following the declaration of drought and famine in 2017, the Emergency Food and Nutrition Project, ensured food security for over 210,000 most vulnerable South Sudanese residing in primarily conflict-affected and inaccessible areas by distributing 4,461 tons of food. Through the provision of supplementary feeding and treatment for malnutrition, the project also ensured the nutritional needs of over 43,000 children and 2,260 pregnant and lactating women are met.

    Providing Social Protection

    The Safety Net and Skills Development project provided over 85,000 poor and vulnerable people with income they need to sustain their level of consumption and improve their resilience to economic shocks.

    The public works component under the project helped to build/rehabilitate key community assets identified as priorities by communities (roads, drainage structures, etc.) and led to increased access to services and mobility.

    Public engagement in public works has provided a platform for greater interaction and social dialogue, contributing to local-level peace building and stabilization by creating a sense of unity and social cohesion among diverse ethnic groups.

    Linking development with conflict resolution

    The Local Governance and Service Delivery Project is reducing violence and loss of life by promoting conflict resolution. Through 250 sub-projects worth $8.8 million in the health, water, and education sectors completed, about 445,997 direct beneficiaries have been reached, 47% of whom were women.

    Using a community development approach, the project encourages community participation in local government planning and implementation. They also identify their priorities for security and development

    The project typically kicks-off with events where communities analyze the roots of their conflicts, and identify their local resources, before prioritizing their development needs. The recurrence of communal conflict in South Sudan makes conflict mapping essential to local government planning.

    Increasing connectivity and reducing travel time

    The South Sudan Rural Roads Project provided 43,000 people in rural areas with access to all-season roads and reduced travel time by half (3 to 1.5 minutes per kilometer). In addition, it connected 38 agricultural production centers to all-season roads; benefiting 71,290 people.

    In 2014, the WBG Board of Directors approved two additional financing projects for the Rapid Results Health Project ($35 million) and the Emergency Food Crisis Response Project ($9 million). The Rapid Results Health Project responds to the humanitarian crisis in the most conflict-affected regions of Jonglei and Upper Nile, providing emergency care for internally displaced persons (IDPs), women, and children. The WBG Board of Directors within the same year approved the South Sudan Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project and Statistical Capacity Building Project.

    As of March 2018, present, the Bank has six active IDA investment projects in South Sudan with a total commitment of $262.43 million, of which about US$53 million is undisbursed as well as a lending pipeline of US$195 million. The current active portfolio is comprised of:

    1. South Sudan Health Rapid Results Project ($103 million)
    2. South Sudan Emergency Food and Nutrition Security Project ($50 million)
    3. Local Governance and Service Delivery Project ($50 million)
    4. Safety Net and Skills Development Project ($21 million)
    5. Statistical Capacity Building Project ($9 million)Southern Sudan Emergency Food Crisis Response Project AF IV ($29.439 million)

    The portfolio also supports a wide range of Analytic and Advisory Services (ASA) for the country’s development needs and to obtain reliable data to ensure World Bank programming decisions remain fit for purpose.

    Last Updated: May 03, 2018

  • Development partners have played a major role in South Sudan over the past seven years. Their commitments have totaled about $4.5 billion, excluding $4 billion in contributions to United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMISS) peacekeeping for the same period. Funding modalities have varied, with 19% of donor funding allocated to pooled funds through 2011. The World Bank Group (WBG) has been working closely with development partners through the WBG-administered Multi-Donor Trust Fund – South Sudan (MDTF-SS), the largest of five pooled funds.

    With the closing of the MDTF-SS in 2013 and following two conflict outbreaks in December 2013 and July 2016, international assistance from development partners has focused primarily on humanitarian aid while continuing with delivery of essential social services at the community level, mainly through specialized UN agencies  and non-governmental organizations. In this regard, the World Bank developed flexible and innovative programs to respond to a protracted humanitarian crisis, prevent complete a deterioration of livelihoods of, and maintain essential services for, the people of South Sudan, by equitably identifying and targeting those most in need.

    Last Updated: May 03, 2018

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LENDING

South Sudan: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Ministries Complex
CPA Road
Juba, South Sudan
For general information and inquiries
Gelila Woodeneh
Communications Officer
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+(251) 115176000
gwoodeneh@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
ssudanalert@worldbank.org
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