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Overview

  • The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation and Africa’s 55th country on July 9, 2011. Renewed conflicts in December 2013 and July 2016 have undermined the development gains achieved since independence and worsened the humanitarian situation.

    South Sudan remains in a serious humanitarian crisis due to the cumulative effects of years of conflict which has destroyed people’s livelihoods and forced 4.2 million people to flee their homes – nearly two million inside and nearly 2.2 million outside the country. Extreme levels of acute food insecurity persist across the country and number of people who require humanitarian assistance in 2019 remains at seven million (more than half of the population) and women and children continue to be the most affected.

    South Sudan is one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world, with oil accounting for almost the totality of exports, and more than 40% of its gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s 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. Coupled with economic mismanagement, many years of conflict have eroded the productive capacity of the country.

    With consumption, non-oil exports, and investment declining, oil production provides the immediate sources of growth in South Sudan. While the rehabilitation of oil fields and resumption of oil production are underway, oil production is not expected to reach pre-crisis levels in the short term. The economy is estimated to have recovered with a growth rate of 3.2% in FY 2018/19, from a contraction of 3.5% during FY2017/18. Inflation averaged 60.8% during FY2018/19 from 121.4% during FY 2017/18. The gap between the official exchange rate and the parallel market rate remains high and increased from 65% in December 2018 to 85% in June 2019. The external sector current account deficit, excluding grants, rose to 6.5% of GDP during FY2018/19 from 4.5% in FY 2017/18

    South Sudan continues to under-invest in sectors that would have the largest knock-on effect on poverty reduction and building resilience, with expenditures skewed toward defense and security. Consequently, poverty levels are expected to remain extremely high on the back of severe food insecurity and limited access to basic services across the country. About 82% of the population in South Sudan is poor according to the most recent estimates, based on the $1.90 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) poverty line.

    The main challenge going forward is to ensure sustainability of peace and security in the country. Whereas parties to the September 2018 peace deal agreed to extend the timeline for the formation of a transitional power-sharing government from May to November 2019, little progress has been achieved on key milestones such as the unification of the army and on the number and boundaries of states the country should be divided into. A recent high-level meeting between the two main parties to the conflict and public commitments to continue the dialogue to find solutions on outstanding issues are a positive step towards the implementation of the peace deal.

    Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019

  • 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 setback to the country program  and for development in general.

    Following the signing of a peace agreement and the formation of the Transitional Unity Government in 2015 aiming at ending the 2013 internal conflict, 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 identified 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 World Bank engagement in South Sudan. 

    The aims of the CEN are to respond to the current crisis and support stabilization, recovery, and peace where opportunities arise. The World Bank engagement strategy in South Sudan comprises two objectives: (i) Support basic service provision for vulnerable populations and (ii) Support to livelihoods, food security, and basic economic recovery.

    Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019

  • Below is a selection of recent World Bank accomplishments in South Sudan:

    • Expanded basic infrastructure to enhance local service delivery: Built 69 primary health care units; 142 classroom blocks in 60 primary schools; three primary access roads of about 180 km; 105 boreholes, 3 local markets and 1 livestock market.
    • Supported livelihoods and generating early economic recovery: Provided 53,163 households with access to income opportunities and temporary employment through public works aimed at building community assets.
    • Delivered high impact healthcare services in Jonglei and Upper Nile:743,610 women and children received basic nutrition services; 21,439 births attended by skilled health personnel; 180,856 children immunized, and 2.54 million long lasting insecticide treated nets distributed.

    As of October 4, 2019, the South Sudan portfolio stands at $ 114.4 million (credits and grants) with an undisbursed balance of $68.94 million (65%). South Sudan’s indicative IDA18 allocation is $243 million, of which $195.4 million (80.2%) will be committed by June 2020.

    The portfolio also comprises a wide range of Analytic and Advisory Services to build a robust evidence base for programming, to manage and mitigate risks and to promote peacebuilding, recovery and stabilization in South Sudan.

    Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019

  • 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, the World Bank developed flexible and innovative programs to prevent a complete deterioration of livelihoods and maintain essential services for the people of South Sudan by identifying and targeting those most in need. A bulk of the Bank’s support is currently delivered in partnership with UN agencies with extensive presence across the country.

    World Bank is also an active member of the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR) in South Sudan and intends to contribute towards re-establishing delivery of basic services and restore productive capacities of communities affected by the conflict.

    Last Updated: Oct 16, 2019

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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
Sr. Communications Officer
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+(251) 115176000
gwoodeneh@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
ssudanalert@worldbank.org