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July 29, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions on the Recently Approved Emergency Safety Nets Project in Sudan

What is the status of the World Bank Group’s engagement in Sudan?

The World Bank Group paused disbursements in all of its operations in Sudan on October 25, 2021 and stopped processing any new operations as it closely monitors and assesses the situation.

The World Bank has recently provided $100 million for the Emergency Safety Nets Project. Does this mean it is now doing business as usual in Sudan?

The pause of disbursements by the World Bank in all of its operations to the Government of Sudan remains in effect, under the World Bank's operational policy on Dealings with De Facto Governments in Sudan. The emergency funding is being provided on an exceptional basis, in response to the urgent needs of Sudanese households and communities facing a tremendous food insecurity crisis. Financing does not go to the government, as disbursements remain on pause. The Emergency Safety Nets Project will serve as a platform for providing cash and food support to the most vulnerable population in Sudan through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

How is the Emergency Safety Nets Project funded and implemented?

The project is made possible through the generous support of donors (the European Union, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Norway, Canada, Italy, Finland, Spain, Ireland, and the State and Peacebuilding Fund) to the Sudan Transition and Recovery Support Trust Fund (STARS). The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the direct recipient of the grant and the implementing agency of the Sudan Emergency Safety Net Project.

What is the difference between the Sudan Emergency Safety Nets Project (SESNP) and the Sudan Family Support Program (SFSP)?

The World Bank paused all its operations in Sudan in October 2021, including the implementation of the Sudan Family Support Program (SFSP). The SFSP, commonly known as ‘Thamarat’, aimed to strengthen social protection and increase the spending power of families affected by economic reforms and other short-term shocks during the time of economic transition. SFSP was led and implemented by the Sudanese government. At the time of the pause, SFSP had enrolled 9.3 million individuals in the program, of which 4.7 million received payments in less than six months from the start of the program.

The Sudan Emergency Safety Net Project (SESNP) is a new project, which aims to respond to the deep food insecurity in Sudan caused by a poor harvest and rising international food prices. It will provide cash transfers and food support directly to the most vulnerable households (approximately two million vulnerable people) in 11 of the most food insecure states based on a vulnerability assessment carried out by WFP. World Food Programme is the direct recipient of the SESNP funding and the implementing agency.

Are the beneficiaries of the Sudan Emergency Safety Nets Project (SESNP) the same as those of the Sudan Family Support Program (SFSP)? 

While the SFSP aimed to target 80% of the population nationwide, the Emergency Safety Net project aims to target two million of the most food insecure people in the 11 most food insecure states.

How will beneficiaries be selected?

The project will use geographic and community targeting methods. Geographically, project target areas will be selected based on the level of extreme poverty, while beneficiaries will be selected using Community Based Targeting to identify the most food insecure households in the most affected localities and states. The community will vet the list of selected beneficiary households to confirm they are the most food insecure households in the area before they are enrolled in the program. Priority will be given to women, children, elders, and those with disabilities. In addition, the third-party monitoring agent that the World Bank will hire will ensure the selected beneficiaries are the most food insecure in the area.