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World Bank helps South Sudan on road to stability

June 02nd, 2013
topics:Humans
by:FairPlanet Editorial Team
located in:South Sudan
tags:Africa, Dafur, South Sudan, World Bank

As South Sudan approaches the second anniversary of its independence, the fledgling nation begins to count the benefits of over seven years of development projects that have aimed to better the lives of its 8.3 million residents.

Over the last decade, the story of the Sudanese region has been one wracked with ethnic tension, widespread conflict and mass casualties. The Dafur War which began in 2003 led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, charges of genocide, and the displacement of millions of people.

However, a recent World Bank report brings brighter news of development in the breakaway country of South Sudan. As a result of a US$718 million Multi-Donor Trust Fund administered by the World bank and donated to by 14 countries including Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada, South Sudan has been successful in instigating sweeping changes that herald positive steps towards a sustainable future.

  • 87 new hospitals and other health centres have been built to increase access to basic health for over a million people, including a new teaching hospital in the capital city, Juba, that is additionally tasked with training Sudan's next generation of medics.
  • 336 primary school rooms have been created, 2.2 million textbooks bought for students, and over a thousand new teachers have been trained. Over 7000 students have graduated from vocational training courses in a country where unemployment continues to pose a serious problem.
  • 300 new public buildings such as hospitals, government offices and hostels have been built, and some 2,500km of road have been laid down linking the the capital to smaller cities across the country.

Joseph Amule, a teacher at a Central Equatoria primary school, commented that “before, children studied under trees, and now they have proper classrooms" referring to the logs and rocks that served as makeshift desks and chairs before the funding arrived.

The World Bank's country director for South Sudan, Bella Bird, stated that “Working through a difficult period of transition, the MDTF-SS has delivered substantial results. Among the more satisfying, is the citing by an independent evaluation that the way in which the MDTF-SS projects were implemented helped build government capacity to deliver services, build infrastructure and design programs for poverty reduction.”

The Multi-Donor Trust Fund began to wind down at the end of May, and despite the major successes that characterise its influence, South Sudan remains a country that faces many grave challenges. Youth unemployment continues for large numbers; agricultural production struggles to establish itself; one seventh of mothers die during child birth; and access to education remains limited - in particular for girls.

A woman in South Sudan has a greater chance of dying in childbirth than completing school.

In this regard, and bearing in mind the huge developments - both practical and structural - that have been made in this young country, it is all the more important that the international community continues to support the citizens and government of South Sudan as they look towards their future. Many lives were shed along the long road to independence, and if the international community aims to prevent more conflict in what is an already incredibly violent region, it would do well to follow and reward South Sudan's positive steps thus far.

CLICK HERE... to sign the fairplanet petition calling on the Sudanese government to stop the atrocities in South Kordofan!

Article written by:
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FairPlanet Editorial Team
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