World Bank grants $38 million for South Sudanese roads
18 May 2012 - To rehabilitate feeder roads and open up access to rural communities in potentially rich agricultural areas, the South Sudanese government today received a $38 million World Bank grant.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Kosti Manibe Ngai and Laura Kullenberg, Country Manager for the World Bank in South Sudan, signed the South Sudan Rural Roads Project grant in the capital Juba.
South Sudan has a road network of only about 17,000 kilometres, of which only about 4,000 kilometres are all weather roads.
In addition to improving the road network, the grant will boost local agriculture by upgrading and rehabilitating rural roads linking productive agricultural areas to markets.
This will help open up access to local markets, increase employment opportunities and help improve livelihoods of rural farmers.
Minister Ngai said the roads project would also improve food security within the country.
"This project will make it possible to transport farm inputs to productive areas and surplus produce to consumption areas where there are food deficits," he said.
He noted that farmers were often discouraged from producing more due to lack of market access.
The grant would also help the government in its efforts to diversify the economy, said Ms. Kullenberg.
"South Sudan is endowed with abundant material resources, including a large amount of good quality rain-fed agricultural land," the Bank's country manager said. "By rehabilitating feeder roads, this project will help provide access to market and social services to many South Sudanese who currently live in hard-to-reach areas."
The grant is part of a larger trust fund totaling $75 million, which the Bank is using to provide early assistance to South Sudan.
Additionally, the project will help build the capacity of the Ministry of Roads and Bridges and State Directorates of Roads and Bridges in managing rural infrastructure.