Sudan’s poor families set to benefit from World Bank’s ‘Marshal Plan’

Sudan’s poor families are set to benefit from $390 million in World Bank funding for a program that will include cash transfers that are critical for many people’s survival during the Covid-19 crisis. 

The international lender signed an agreement with Khartoum this week to provide support for the second phase of the Thamarat emergency poverty alleviation program. According to the agreement announced on Tuesday, the World Bank would finance the program for both phases for a total of $820 million

The International Development Association, a World Bank affiliate, is funding the initiative, which targets the vulnerable in the villages, as a pre-settlement grant for Sudan’s debt arrears, in addition to help from the Sudan Transition and Recovery Trust Fund, which includes 13 other donors. 

The initiative, which was first introduced in February as Phase 1, obtained a $400 million first disbursement and targeted 11 million poor people in Khartoum, the Red Sea, Kassala, and South Darfur, accounting for 33 percent of the total number of projected beneficiaries.

Around 80,000 Sudanese families (nearly 400,000 beneficiaries) had received first-month payments via cash cards as of March 3. According to officials, the total payments to these beneficiaries totaled $ 1.9 million. The majority of these people live in Khartoum State, but assistance will be extended to other states soon. 

According to TheEastAfrica, Blue Nile, White Nile, Sennar, Central Darfur, East Darfur, North Kordofan, Southern Kordofan, and West Kordofan will all benefit from the second process.

Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok previously claimed that the government’s largest initiative to date is the response plan designed to cushion the poor from shocks and keep them going.

“The launch of this programme will restore confidence between the state and the citizens by developing effective policies and institutions for social protection that meet the demands and aspirations of the Sudanese people for a decent life,” Hamdok said last month.

Families will obtain cash transfers which will assist authorities in developing social facilities in their communities. This will allow for careful monitoring and assessment of its importance, as well as the expansion of long-term initiatives. 

For the first six months, the program would provide each family member with the equivalent of five dollars in Sudanese currency. The assistance will be extended for another twelve months, depending on funding availability, with the intention of ultimately reaching 80 percent of the population, or nearly 32 million Sudanese people

“We are very pleased to continue our partnership with the Sudanese government in its efforts to increase support for Sudanese families,” said Othman Dion, World Bank Country Director for Sudan.

“We will continue our partnership with Sudan for the success of this programme by providing the government with all possible resources and resources for its citizens.”

The Sudanese government is in charge of implementing the initiative. 

The World Bank will provide technical assistance to the government in order to improve financial structures and social security, as well as track program activities to ensure that programs are carried out effectively.

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