The European Union and the World Bank signed an agreement yesterday to contribute $110 million to the Family Support Programme Samarat [Fruits] of the Sudanese government.
The money will be transferred to the Sudan Transition and Recovery Support (STARS) Multi Donor Trust Fund, administered and managed by the World Bank. France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden together donated an additional $78.2 million to the programme. USAID already contributed $20 million.
The signing ceremony was held at the Prime Minister’s office in the presence of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, the Ministers of Labour and Social Development, Culture and Information, the acting Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, European ambassadors, UN officials and other government officials. The agreement was signed by Ambassador of the European Union to Sudan, Robert van den Dool and Ousmane Dione, Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan of the World Bank.
The programme supports Sudanese families with direct cash transfers. Acting Finance Minister Heba Mohamed said that the Samarat programme to support families is an important part of the policies of the transitional government to alleviate the economic challenges the Sudanese people face. 77 per cent of all Sudanese live in poverty, which means they can spend less than $1,25 a day.
“With the signing of this agreement, the European Union is making good on its pledge at the Berlin conference in June to support the transitional government in its efforts to launch economic and political reforms to prepare Sudan for elections, democratization and nation building”, EU Ambassador Robert van den Dool said.
World Bank and Nile floods
The World Bank has announced it will provide $2 million to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources to improve the forecast of rains and Nile floods, so that the ministry can take better precautions and issue warnings earlier.
The Regional Director of the World Bank for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, Ousmane Dione, reported after his meeting yesterday with Irrigation Minister Yasir Abbas in Khartoum that a technical team from the bank will visit Sudan to find out the actual needs and how to implement the support as soon as possible.
On 24 September, Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) reported that almost 830,000 people have been affected by floods in all 18 states during the rainy season this year. The rainy season in southern Sudan stretches from May to October. In central Sudan, including Khartoum, it usually lasts from June/July to September.
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