JUBA, September 09, 2021 – The World Bank and UNICEF are collaborating to implement a $53.5 million project in South Sudan that focuses on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) vaccine deployment in the country and the provision of essential health services for the most vulnerable populations in two of the most hard-to-reach areas – the states of Jonglei and Upper Nile.
This close collaboration between the World Bank and UNICEF in South Sudan comes at a crucial time as the country continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic including the scaling up of its vaccination roll out efforts. Both sides will also support the Ministry of Health in enhancing its stewardship of the South Sudanese health system and its capacity to plan and implement programs.
“The World Bank values its partnership with UNICEF as it focuses on the urgent task of COVID19 vaccine deployment and the supply of life-saving interventions to the most vulnerable children and women in South Sudan. It also seeks to build capacity in the Ministry of Health at the national, state and community levels to ensure sustainable access to basic health services for all residents of the country,” said Firas Raad, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan.
Through this collaboration, initiated in 2018, UNICEF has been implementing a World Bank-financed health sector project that provides essential maternal and child health services in Jonglei and Upper Nile. The project has so far immunized 126,489 children with the penta3 vaccine and 127,912 children with the measles vaccine and provided 55,404 pregnant women with antenatal care services. It also ensured that 20,651 new-borns were delivered with the help of skilled health personnel. The project also facilitated the delivery of 587 tons of medical supplies and medicines; and supplied soap, buckets, and water purification tablets for 685,000 people in both states.
“Our unique partnership with the World Bank allows UNICEF to build on the joint achievements that have enabled women and children in the farthest corners of South Sudan to access basic health services, and to ensure their right to survival and health,” said Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan.
The development partnership between the World Bank and UNICEF has also supported South Sudan’s Ebola and COVID-19 response in terms of logistics and operations, including screening at points of entry, risk communication activities to create awareness, and the training of health personnel on effective infection prevention and control. Going forward, the joint work will focus on five key areas:
- Vaccine deployment, building climate resilient cold chain equipment for safe storage and transport of vaccines, and raising community awareness to promote South Sudan’s COVID-19 vaccine planning and delivery
- Provision of essential health services including high-impact maternal, neonatal, and child health services in the states of Jonglei and Upper Nile
- Building the institutional and technical capacity of the Ministry of Health, developing national health policies, and strengthening emergency preparedness and response.
- Support for promoting the development of unified data and reporting management systems to support monitoring, evaluation, and learning
- Development of national capacity to prepare, prevent and respond to public health emergencies