WASHINGTON, June 14, 2011—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today recommended that a $75 million trust fund be established to help provide health care, infrastructure, and employment for the people of South Sudan. The territory voted in a peaceful referendum in January 2011 to separate from Sudan, and is expected to become independent on July 9 this year. The Bank’s Board has sent its recommendation to the Bank’s Governors for their approval.
The World Bank is seeking to provide early assistance to South Sudan given the urgency of challenges faced by the nascent state, as it emerges from over two decades of civil war and embarks on the long journey towards nation building. The South Sudan Transition Trust Fund (SSTTF) builds on the framework of the 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development, which calls for more responsiveness to the needs and opportunities of fragile and conflict-affected situations such as South Sudan. The Bank’s new Strategy—Africa’s Future—also calls for more creative and timely interventions to deliver development results to the poor. South Sudan has some of the worst human development indicators in the world.
The SSTTF will help extend the development gains generated by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund-Southern Sudan (MDTF-SS), administered by the World Bank during the past six years. The MDTF-SS has funded the rehabilitation of roads, built schools, provided bed nets, increased food production, and trained local government officials in key functions, among other things.
Expanding on this progress, the SSTTF will be used to rapidly increase the coverage of child immunization, provision of vitamin A, de-worming, and other selected services for rural mothers and children. It will also increase rural livelihoods opportunities, and improve rural access by supporting a project to provide 1,400 km of feeder roads in areas with high agricultural potential. In addition, the trust fund will help create jobs through grants to 200 entrepreneurs, increasing outreach to women entrepreneurs, and building up a micro-finance client base of 30,000 individuals. Through such projects, the trust fund aims to deliver timely and critical interventions that will help improve the lives of poor people in quicker and practical ways.
The SSTTF will also build on the robust analytical and advisory services the Bank has been providing the Government of Southern Sudan. These services play a key role in better understanding South Sudan’s development challenges, and help forge and leverage partnerships among donors.
The $75 million will be provided from IBRD funds, and will be made available to South Sudan in the first few months after independence. South Sudan has applied for membership to the World Bank Group, which is working closely with the IMF to ensure that the joint processes can be completed as quickly as possible. Once the new nation attains membership, it will likely become eligible for IDA resources.