WASHINGTON, April 9, 2020 — In response to the Government of South Sudan request and to help the country better manage the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness, the World Bank on April 6 activated the Contingent Emergency Response Implementation Plan(CERIP) under the Provision of Essential Health Services Project $ 7.6 million.
The World Bank has been a steadfast partner in South Sudan’s efforts to rebuild and strengthen its health care system that was devastated by years of conflict and left millions of South Sudanese without proper access to vital health services. While encouraging progress has been made, the system remains in a fledgling state and the current pandemic presents a further threat to people’s health.
The COVID-19 outbreak is anticipated to overburden South Sudan’s weak public health preparedness and response systems and may have a socio-economic impact on South Sudan in terms of increasing food insecurity and deepening poverty and vulnerabilities,” said Husam Abudagga, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan. “The CERIP will provide emergency funds to help South Sudan to meet critical resource needs as outlined in the COVID-19 Nation Preparedness and Response Plan.”
South Sudan (in partnership with the World Bank, UN agencies including the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other development partners) launched its mitigation plans several weeks ago in anticipation of the COVID-19 spread to the country.
“The health system in South Sudan is extremely fragile and when we see how robust health systems around the world are struggling fighting COVID-19, that makes us worry more for the people of South Sudan,” said the UNICEF South Sudan representative Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “We must do what we can to prevent and reduce the spread of the disease, and without the partnership with the World Bank this wouldn’t be possible.”
In South Sudan, partnerships are key to ensuring that the most vulnerable are reached. The World Bank’s partnership with UN agencies serves as a concrete example of how development and humanitarian actors can work together, building on the UN essential role and comparative advantages in South Sudan.
CERIP will be implemented in partnership with UNICEF and finance priority activities in South Sudan’s national COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. Particular focus will be on areas that are underfunded or not funded by other donors. The plan will help South Sudan develop counter measures to limit the transmission and thus, reducing COVID-19’ potential overwhelming effects on the country. Specifically, it will finance the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, strengthen the infection prevention and control measures, provide training to health workers and improve health screening at points of entry. It will also support risk communications and information outreach activities to encourage behavioral change, such as social distancing and hygiene.
* The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.