The World Bank said it has approved $129 million in grant financing to expand access to economic and livelihood opportunities for the most vulnerable households in South Sudan and strengthen the effectiveness of the national safety net system.
The global lender said in a statement issued here that the International Development Association (IDA) grant includes $25 million from the IDA19 Window for Host Communities and Refugees (WHR), and $30 million from the Crisis Response Window (CRW), reports Xinhua news agency.
Firas Raad, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan, said that the new financing will help the government gradually establish a nationally owned safety net program.
“It will also help maintain a predictable and reliable national safety net system in the country and increase citizen confidence in national institutions,” Raad said.
He said the grant will finance the South Sudan Productive Safety Net for Socioeconomic Opportunities Project (SNSOP) which is a unique four-year operation that builds on the experiences of prior projects that helped lay the foundational building blocks of the safety net system in South Sudan.
The SNSOP aims to consolidate and deepen the development gains achieved to date, provide access to direct income, and increase social and economic opportunities for the poorest and most vulnerable households.
Josephine Joseph Lagu, South Sudan’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, said enhancing social and economic opportunities for poor and vulnerable households will contribute to achieving longer-term development outcomes and build their resilience to climate impacts and other shocks.
“It will also make them potential drivers of economic growth, stability, and national transformation in South Sudan,” Joseph said.
According to the World Bank, recent external and economic shocks that include severe flooding, the Covid-19 pandemic, conflict, and macroeconomic instability have disproportionately impacted vulnerable households and deepened existing vulnerabilities in South Sudan.