World Bank pledges $150 million windfall for agriculture

World Bank pledges $150 million windfall for agriculture

The World Bank has pledged $ 150 million to the South Sudan government to invest in the agricultural sector.

The bank promised the money in a meeting with Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior in United States where she travelled to represent the country at the 78th UN Summit.

It will enable the government to build the capacity of local farmers to boost agricultural production without the involvement of a third party, according to Ateny Wek Ateny, Presidential Press Secretary.

“World Bank believes [that] if the government of South Sudan is given $150 million to manage without the involvement of [any] third party, then they will be building the capacity in the same phase.

 “The World Bank wants to do two things at the same time by giving the money to the government of South Sudan and the government of South Sudan at the same time in the process investing this money in the agriculture [rather] than in the process building the capacity of farmers,” Ateny said.

Mr. Ateny was speaking to the government-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) from the US on Saturday.

In June 2021, the World Bank urged South Sudan to adjust public policies to support jobs and called for targeted donor investments to spur economic recovery in the country.

The World Bank’s focus was on self-employment and household business activities through agriculture and services that provide most jobs to unemployed South Sudanese in towns.

“Agriculture is a big employer in towns with high potential for more productivity and for linkages up and down the value chain [which involve] jobs like making tools, transporting goods, and processing crops,” said the former World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan, Husam Abudagga in June 2021.

He added, “Providing inputs remains relevant to restoring production. As stability progresses, cash grants for farmers and processors make sense. “Farmers cooperatives are potential partners, and aggregators deserve attention because they can re-link markets,” said Abudagga.

Last month the new World Bank Country Manager, Firas Raad, said the bank would aim at supporting the government of South Sudan to consolidate peace and develop the livelihood of the citizens.

“I am honoured to take on this new role as Country Manager for South Sudan at an important time in the country’s history and development journey.

“Over the last three years, the World Bank Group has endeavoured to support the development achieved by the country since the signing of the 2018 Revitalised Peace Agreement.

He went on to promise support for political stability to unlock the country’s economy which enjoys immense potential.

“Going forward, we will aim to support the government of South Sudan in consolidating these gains and making even greater progress towards improving the lives and livelihoods of the South Sudanese people,” said Mr. Raad in August 2021.