STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Over 423,000 poor and vulnerable South Sudanese across 10 counties were provided with access to income opportunities and complementary training to build skills.
  • Over 43,338 beneficiaries received training in areas related to financial literacy, water, hygiene and sanitation practices, and early childhood development.

 

JUBA, February 23, 2023 − Recent global shocks have led to an increase in food prices and adversely affected consumption patterns for poor and vulnerable households, the majority being headed by women. The South Sudan Safety Net Project (SSSNP) has been a source of great hope for thousands of South Sudanese households across the country.

Eva Ituwa, 35, had lost hope when her husband abandoned her and their eight children several years ago. However, with the cash transfers from the SSSNP, specifically aimed at vulnerable households such as hers, she was able to rebuild her life and provide for her children.

“I started this small business with the cash assistance I received from the project, and it has changed my life and that of my family. I am now able to generate 3,000 SSP ($4.60) by selling tea on a daily basis to cater for my children’s needs, including food, medication, and paying school fees”. Eva Ituwa a beneficiary operating a small business in Juba.

Thirty-eight-year-old Lorna Cosmas, who lives in Juba, is another beneficiary who credits the SSSNP cash assistance with improving the quality of her life.

“I thank this project for considering vulnerable women in South Sudan. Life was not easy, especially with the conflict and the tough economic situation but now I am very happy that I can take care of my family and send my children to school.”

The SSSNP has improved the livelihoods and resilience of thousands of beneficiaries, providing temporary income opportunities, such as re-stocking small home-based shops, selling farm produce, to 423,100 individuals from 65,045 households across the ten counties in South Sudan, including the capital Juba Municipality, through Direct Income Support (DIS) and Labor-intensive Public Works (LIPWs).

In addition, the project has supported complementary training (the Cash “Plus” component) empowering households, particularly women, with additional skills and knowledge in financial literacy, water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH), and early childhood development to improve the well-being of their families.

Annet Konga Josephine, 41, a resident of Yei River County, has equally benefited from the project through the Labor-Intensive Public Works Program. Annet together with other residents in Yei County (from over 5,000 households) participated in a range of temporary jobs in the public works sector, including road rehabilitation and agriculture for cash.

“My children are no longer roaming the streets in search for food and joining criminal activities. Now we survive on the money the project has provided us and if you go house-to-house, you will find children at home, happy because there is food. With the improved roads in Yei River County, we can now reach the hospital in case of a health emergency, and children and women can now travel safely to schools and market with ease.”

The SSSNP has been supported by World Bank financing and technical support and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. This partnership between World Bank, UNOPS and the government is making a valuable contribution towards strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus to uplift the poor and vulnerable communities.

Given a continued need for immediate relief and long-term economic assistance for the poor households, the World Bank’s Executive Board of Directors has recently approved another $129 million to 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 the SSSNP and the South Sudan Safety Net and Skills Development Project. It is providing access to direct income (cash transfers) and boosting access to social and economic opportunities for poor and vulnerable households to enhance resilience through building human capital, with a particular focus on women and youth as potential drivers of economic growth and national stability in South Sudan.

“We understand the current vulnerability situation countrywide, but the resources are limited. Financial support will be channeled towards citizens that are most in need based on criteria set by the project,” said Dr. John Kanisio, Undersecretary for Food Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The SNSOP is implemented by the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food security and the Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare and is targeting 96,000 poor and vulnerable households in 15 counties including two major refugee hosting counties, Maban and Pariang. The SNSOP will not only continue to uplift the poor South Sudanese but aims to strengthen the building blocks of the national social protection system.

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