South Sudan May Join World Bank in a Year as Funds Planned

Posted: September 26, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

South Sudan may become a member of the World Bank within a year amid plans by the lender to fund infrastructure and health care projects, said Helen Mbao, senior operations officer for the country.

“Everyone is anxious that this process is done quickly,” she told reporters today in the capital, Juba.

South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan on July 9, applied for World Bank membership before declaring independence. The Washington-based lender approved a $75 million grant called a “transitional trust fund,” Mbao said. Part of the funding will be spent on a plan to develop local companies through a business-plan competition, she said. Vice President Riek Machar may approve that component within a month, Mbao added.

The other components may be approved by the end of the year, including a plan to build roads in the fertile south of the country that would allow farmers to have easier access to markets, said Tesfa Michael Nahusenay, the bank’s senior transportation specialist for South Sudan.

As much as 500 kilometers (311 miles) of new roads may be constructed by June, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jared Ferrie in Juba via Johannesburg at pmrichardson

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin.

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