Source: The World Bank Group
Date: 22 Jan 2007
Bank's top Africa region official visits Sudan; urges progress in implementing Peace Accord
Press Release No:2007/207/AFR
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2007— Hartwig Schafer, Acting Vice President for the Africa Region, visited Sudan from January 13-16 to take stock of progress in implementing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and in carrying out recovery and development programs funded by two Multi- Donor Trust Funds.
Following visits to the Government of National Unity (GoNU) in Khartoum and the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) in Juba, Mr. Schafer said, "We are seeing real progress in carrying out the programs funded by the trust funds, though the challenges of restoring basic services and rebuilding infrastructure are considerable." He added that the Bank is augmenting its staff in Sudan, particularly in Juba, to strengthen support to the Government institutions responsible for implementation of the programs.
To date, the two trust funds—a National Fund and one for South Sudan—have committed about $227 million to 14 projects aimed at restoring basic services, establishing government functions, and rehabilitating infrastructure. The GoNU and the GoSS have added more than $300 million of their own funds to cofinance these projects. Monies actually disbursed from the trust funds come to about $82 million so far.
Following the signing of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, donors pledged $508.5 million to two Multi-Donor Trust Funds (MDTFs) administered by the World Bank, one to finance rehabilitation of war-affected areas in areas such as Blue Nile and Kassala, and another for reconstruction and development in Southern Sudan.
After two decades of conflict, displacement and neglect, Southern Sudan constitutes one of the most far-reaching development challenges on the Continent—with low life expectancy, pervasive poverty and a heavy burden of disease.
The MDTF for Southern Sudan received pledges totaling $344.6 million, of which $185.2 million have been paid in. The programs backed by the MDTF, among other things, have provided drugs and medical supplies to health facilities serving up to 1.5 million people in Southern Sudan. An education grant has financed the acquisition of more than 950,000 textbooks for the region's long-neglected primary schools. Buildings and furniture for government ministries are covered by another grant. A health project provides for the purchase of 700,000 mosquito nets along with drugs for malaria and other treatable diseases that burden the population.
Through a $43.5 million grant, The National MDTF is supporting the Emergency Transport Rehabilitation Project aimed to rehabilitate war-ravaged and heavily-mined road and railway infrastructure. The grant will also be used to improve transport logistics, by river and rail, between the north and the south of the country to facilitate commerce and the return of internally displaced populations.
"I appreciate the chance to have visited the country and seen first-hand the efforts that the Sudanese people and their international partners are making to rebuild, and in some case to build from scratch, the foundations of a stable society," Mr. Schafer said.
In Washington: Tim Carrington (1-202) 458 5325
Cell: (1-202) 265 2095
In Khartoum: Nada Amin (249) 155 155 021