Juba, South Sudan, 28 May, 2013 - Launched as the single largest source of development aid for the Southern States in 2005, the US$718 million Multi-donor Trust Fund for South Sudan (MDTF-SS) was officially closed today at a public event led by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and attended by members of the Trust Fund Oversight Committee and representatives of bilateral and multilateral agencies, media and civil society.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, H.E. Mr. Kosti Manibe Ngai, thanked donors for their critical support in the challenging period leading up to the country’s independence, and its aftermath. “The MDTF-SS partners supported us through the difficult period of transition and remained with us as we tackled the challenges of building a new nation,” he said. “As we close this program today, we look forward to continuing our partnership under the broad parameters of the South Sudan Development Plan to provide better services, better governance and better infrastructure that promotes growth and national unity.”
When it emerged from five decades of civil war in 2005 following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Southern Sudan faced a unique set of problems with millions of displaced people, some of the lowest human development indicators in the world, virtually no infrastructure and very few government institutions. The sentiments expressed during the ceremony showed appreciation for some significant results achieved during the eight year MDTF-SS program while acknowledging the many challenges along the way.
Despite implementation difficulties in the early years, the MDTF-SS partners, led by the Government as the biggest contributor to the Fund, put in place a turnaround strategy in late 2009. Disbursements rose from 50% in 2010 to 99% by December 2012, providing increased benefits in health, education, employment and infrastructure development. “The story that is emerging now from an independent evaluation shows significant delivery of results that can be built upon to improve the lives of millions of poor people, “says Berhane Manna, Acting Country Manager for South Sudan, “in fact the MDTF-SS role in helping develop capacity to govern and deliver services is appreciated by a number of stakeholders in a recent opinion survey.”
Among the highlights of the MDTF-SS eight-year program:
- The first national census in 2007-2008;
- Development of a new national currency;
- Integrating 30,000 ex-combatants, including disabled and women veterans, into society;
- Strengthening rule of law by training over 6,500 policemen and women, building 35 new police stations/headquarters and nine central prisons;
- Boosting education by constructing 336 primary classrooms, providing 2.2 million textbooks to children and training over 1000 teachers;
- Providing one million people with access to safe water and/or sanitation facilities;
- Rebuilding Juba Teaching hospital, providing medical supplies to 1,300 clinics and hospitals, and running a dedicated program for HIV/AIDS across states;
- Nearly 4000 km of roads rehabilitated or designed by the Ministry for Roads and Bridges.
“Our partnership with the Government and people of South Sudan remains strong,” says Bella Bird, Country Director for South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia. “The MDTF-SS provided urgent humanitarian and reconstruction support across many sectors. Going forward, we will have a more focused engagement that will help provide stability and progress through institution building, employment and infrastructure development. Most importantly, South Sudan must simultaneously pursue a peace-building and nation building agenda for sustainable growth that can benefit men and women across South Sudan.”
As the MDTF-SS closes, a bridging grant of US$75 million from donors administered by the World Bank, is supporting work on three ongoing projects while an International Development Association (IDA) 16 credit of US$131 million will finance the Bank’s interim strategy goals of supporting prudent economic management, effective local service delivery, job creation, capacity building and infrastructure development.
South Sudan became the newest member of the World Bank Group in April 2012 and will enter its second year of independence on July 9, 2013.