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South Sudan: World Bank commits US$75 million for basic services


By Ngor Arol Garang

July 13, 2011 (JUBA)-The World Bank (WB) office in South Sudan has announced it is committing $US75 million to support government and citizens of the new nation in the provision of basic services.

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Ian Bannon, World Bank Acting Director for Sudan, 11 July 2011, Juba, South Sudan (ST)

Addressing a press conference at the bank’s premises in Juba on Monday, Ian Bannon, acting country head for Sudan, said WB encourages the government of the new nation to adopt participatory policy and give more attention to agriculture and private sector. He said he does not expect the education system in South Sudan to be like that of Demark but that of South Africa and other developing countries is attainable in the coming years.

"This is a wonderful, historic moment for the people of south, and the world bank pledges to be a strong partner as we help to transform a day of independence into decade of development", said WB president, Robert B. Zoelick at the independence day celebrations on 9 July.

South Sudan has suffered from decades of civil war, and has some of the lowest human development indicators in the world. Over half of the population lives below poverty line. The 2009 national household survey indicated that 38% of the population walks more than 30 minutes one way to collect drinking water. 50% use wood or grass as the primary source of lighting. 96% use firewood or charcoal as their primary fuel for cooking. 15% of households own a phone, this increases to 59% in urban areas compared to 8% in rural areas.

"Taking into account the urgent needs confronting the new country, the World Bank is proud to be one of the institutional partners that have sought to provide early assistance through a $75 million transition trust fund to help provide health care, infrastructure, and employment to the people of south Sudan. The decision to provide early support to the republic of south Sudan is consistent with the World Bank’s determination to be more nimble and responsive in order to take advantage of every window of opportunity that opens in the fragile and conflict affected situations such as south Sudan," said Obiageli Ezekwesilli, WB vice president for Africa.

The bank official said speedy attention to the most urgent needs was one of the main recommendations of the World Bank’s 2011 development report on conflict, security and development. While attaining nationhood changes south Sudan’s political framework and governance arrangements, south Sudanese still face enormous development challenges particularly those of inclusion.

"The bank’s priority remains helping South Sudan to provide comprehensive and inclusive development for its people. Ensuring inclusive governance, providing jobs and livelihood for its people and building well enough institutions that can provide basic services, these are the building blocks of a new nation that the government must strive to towards," said Ezekwesilli.

The statement explains that the South Sudan transitional trust fund will be used to rapidly increase the coverage of child immunisation, provision of vitamin A, de-worming, and selected services for rural mothers and children. It will also increase rural livelihoods opportunities and improve rural access by supporting a project to provide 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.

The WB and International Monetary Fund have been subject to criticism because it relinquishes economic autonomy from the state borrowing money. Their loan is subject to the “Washington Consensus” - conditionalities of trade liberalisation and so on. They also focus upon empowerment of the private sector, in some cases to the detriment of the public sector. There policies are often seen as developed world-centric.

As the global financial crisis continues with riots in Greece and plummeting Italian government bonds, it is not a good time to be in debt. However, South Sudan needs a cash injection to bring its infrastructure up to speed and for it to fulfil its economic potential.


Listen to Bannon’s speech here

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  • 14 July 2011 08:18, by Pwad Achob

    Dear Mr. Ian Bannon,

    It is wonderful to welcome independence of the Republic of South Sudan and also to propose financial assistance( in form of longterm loan)and commit US$75 million from the World Bank for basic services. But you and the World Bank officials must make sure that your help goes to the people of the South Sudan and make sure that the money does not end up in the bank accounts of our leaders in the foreign banks.

    There must be real projects against which the loan to help the Republic of South Sudan are alocated, otherwise,it will be a long term debt which will be paid by us, our children and grantchildren when there are no tangable projects to benefit the needed people who are supposed to be helped.

    Our experience in the last six(6) years is that most of our leaders have established themselves and their relatives in the expense of the people who they are supposed to care for and earned prestige and loyalty of the people.

    Thanks in advance for your concerned towards the newly born Republic of South Sudan.

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    • 14 July 2011 09:53, by Liberal

      Thanks you Mr. Ian Bannon,

      We know very well that world Bank is financial institution that work and provide basic services to war torn countries. World Bank has been operating in South Sudan intially from 2006 and upto date, there is absolutely nothing that had been done and hefty of dollars has been spent especially by World Bank staff both international and national. Primary schoools were to be built in equatoria, Bhar el Ghazal and Upper Nile but not even 15% were built despite the fact that primary health care and boreholes were not accomplished.
      If am not too ignorance with critic than i would say, World Bank is poor in implementation with high payscale to technical staffs nationally and internationally. They are also being influenced by the staff to change the location of services concern to different direction. am sorry to have outlined those few things but the fact remained that any money given to South Sudan must be spent in a rightful way with transparent accountability and supervision.

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  • 14 July 2011 08:43, by George Bol

    let thanks SPLM/A for their great services other we have not talk about everthing in the RSS now. We shoud be forwarding our sincere message to our SPLM/A for their great liberation they did to help us see this independence day. May God bless them for their patriotism, we have really understand the important services that our SPLA and SPLM plus our dedicated leaders during the difficult time.

    If we have no our heart that help us offer lives at the time where there is no water,no food,no heavy weapons, no shielter,no medicines ,and many more,then we would be under the mistreatment of the khartoum regimes till the next of hundred years in the Sudan.

    I almost shed tears to when i reflect back the difficulties when experienced during the bush. I strongly believed that our SPLA has brought us something to the table-the independence.Yes our generation have lost their lives on their ways to Bilfam and Bunga under the militia and the diseases as well as the hunger and the thirst but we the land compensate their lives. we have made a huge histroy and the world have know it in the July9th where our people rose their flag around the world.

    Once again, let thanks Koryom batallions( Agreb, Zendie, Adiit,Cobra, Lion, Tiger, jamus, Timsa, Raad,Elephant, Jamal, bilfam etc), Muor Muor batallions( Tuek Tuek, eagle, Nil, Shark,Gol, Beshiir, Zal zal1, kazuk, etc), Intifather( ger ger, Adungek, Mijil, Mukter, garangdit, Ariathdit, KonAnok, Koryom2 etc), and Red army in Dima and panyido trained in Ethiopia and in the South.

    Dear brothers and sisters, this liberation was not just agift,we fought for it and we all lose huge lives for our land. Thanks alot may God bless the entire citizens of South Sudan-the dead or alives.God will help us resist the remaining issues while also strengthening our self in developments

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  • 14 July 2011 10:12, by Nhomlawda

    The lure into borrowing has now started and the foolish GOSS will rush for that money, misuse it and make our land be sold to foreign companies for Genetically Modified Food (GMF) growing and experiment plus all other bad land use.
    GOSS be careful on borrowing. Borrow money and invest in projects that can benefit communities and repay the money other than putting that money into none viable projects or your foreign accounts and make South Sudan future generations to lose their independence.
    Where is that US$ 500 billion of Riek Machar promised investments now? South Sudan should not borrow anything if that huge direct foreign investment is coming into South Sudan within the next five years.

    In order to achieve lean government, the following ministries should be the ministries of ROSS.
    1. Ministry of Defense
    2. Ministry of Interior
    3. Ministry for Finance and Economic Development (Financial and Fiscal Allocation Commission should be merged here)
    4. Ministry of Justice
    5. Ministry for Foreign Affairs
    6. Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (Irrigation should be merged here)
    7. Ministry of Health (HIV/AIDS Commission to be merged here)
    8. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
    9. Ministry of Technical and Adult Education
    10. Ministry of Transport, Roads and Railways Development
    11. Ministry of Mining and Petroleum
    12. Ministry of Trade and Market Development
    13. Ministry of Energy and Industrialization
    14. Ministry of Housing, Public Utilities and Urban Development
    15. Ministry of Water, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystem Protection
    16. Ministry of Environment and Forestry
    17. Ministry of Wildlife, Tourism and Hotel Industry Development
    18. Ministry of Communication (Telecommunication, postal services, and internet to be under this ministry)
    19. Ministry of Information and Media Development
    20. Ministry of Labor and Human Resources Development
    21. Ministry of Government Affairs (combining Ministry of parliamentary, cabinet and presidential affairs)
    22. Ministry of States Affairs (combine all various state coordination offices in Juba and deal with other GOSS and States linkages)
    23. Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport
    24. Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural Development
    25. Ministry of Women, Child and Disabled Welfare
    26. Ministry of Land and Settlement
    Important Commissions
    1. Public Service Commission
    2. Anticorruption Commission
    3. Human Rights Commission (Public Grievances Commission and Employees Justice Chamber to be merged here)
    4. Investment Authority (Ministry of Investment to be downgraded to Authority)
    5. Humanitarian and Resettlement Commission (Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management plus SSRC to be merged into this commission)
    6. Demining Commission
    7. Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Commission,
    8. Public Employment Pension Fund Authority (to deal with retirees and their maintenance)
    9. Peace and Community Reconciliation Commission (Ministry of Peace and CPA Implementation be downgraded into commission)
    Presidential advisors should be reduced to four only.

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    • 14 July 2011 11:55, by Adam

      Mr. Nhomlawda

      Good suggestion. I hope there is somebody out there collecting such ideas and suggestions for Mr. President and VP to consider while scratching their heads for the broad-base lean government. Foreign advises are very dangerous at this initial stage. There are a lot of thieves and Mafia tycoons out there waiting to swallow the South in one go.

      It is very important to have a Ministry of Cabinet Affairs. I agree to your suggestion and it should also go for a non-SPLM qualified politician.

      With slim government, we also urgently need to restructure and reduce SPLA spending. We need to save money for fast development and basic services. This is important to avoid civic unrest or uprising. The hopes are very high indeed.

      Our estimated oil revenues will be around $ 2.5 Billion annually. Currently, we have about 193,000 SPLA personnel of different ranks exhausting no less than $ 750 Million or (about 30% of the expected Petro-dollar) in salaries alone. This means that very little is left for many government functions and services. I don’t know how much GoROSS has to pay for salaries for government employees (?).

      Please Mr. President, we cannot build a nation out of borrowing, foreign assistance and/or NGO donations. We will be very proud if we depend on ourselves right from the beginning so we can be our own masters. Foreign aid always comes with packages of conditions and requirements that may not be of our interest (mostly).

      Long live ROSS

      Adam Milawaki, Juba

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  • 14 July 2011 20:11, by Ayuen deng

    Thanks you world bank for your commitment.But you keep your eyes open widely for the beast of the world econimic(corruption)from getting access to that money.

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