WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$44 million in additional financing to help South Sudan boost health services, fight hunger and assist people displaced by conflict in Jonglei, Upper Nile and other areas of the conflict affected country.
“South Sudan is facing a difficult time in its short history with conflict affecting six of ten states in the country,” said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for South Sudan. “The World Bank Group is mobilizing efforts in two very important life-saving ways, by expanding access to much-needed basic health services and helping to meet basic food needs of poor and vulnerable populations."
The first of the two projects approved by the Bank consists of a $25 million grant and a $10 million International Development Association (IDA*) credit and will support the Health Rapid Results project in Jonglei and Upper Nile states which are most affected by conflict. The financing will continue to meet the health needs of vulnerable women and children by providing primary health care services such as vaccination, prenatal and delivery services as well as responding to war related injuries and trauma. The country now has 750,000 internal refuges as a result of the political conflict. They are at high risk of contracting communicable diseases
“For the first time in their lives, pregnant women in some of the most remote areas of the country are gaining access to health facilities that are staffed by trained birth attendants,” said Anne Bakilana, World Bank Task Team Leader. “The project will continue to boost efforts to immunize children, provide anti-malarial drugs and treat basic illnesses, even more necessary due to the outbreak of conflict."
In addition to the health challenges caused by the current conflict, many people have lost food stocks and internal refugees have missed the chance to plant new crops for the season and may go hungry. The Board today also approved a new IDA* grant of $9 million for the Southern Sudan Emergency Food Crisis project which will expand the country’s efforts to provide food security support to an additional 140,500 South Sudanese -some 1,500 of whom will be participating in a public works program.
“The support to this project is essential in addressing the most immediate needs of those who have been affected by the conflict” said Abel Lufafa, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “Not only will the project provide direct food support for the most vulnerable, the additional financing will help farmers in areas where security conditions permit increased food production.”