Poverty Reduction

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UNDP believes in development that benefits the poor. Our programme supports our partners in South Sudan to plan, monitor, evaluate and implement poverty reduction initiatives that are inclusive and sustainable.

Emerging from decades of war and instability, South Sudan’s recovery has occurred in stages. Initially, there was a need for crucial, emergency assistance. Following this, the formation of government meant the need for institution building and strengthening of State structures. While this important work is ongoing, the next stage is coming into focus, as South Sudan moves from a recovery phase to a development agenda.

As part of UNDP’s support for medium-term, pro-poor planning, we are actively engaged in assisting the Government to formulate South Sudan’s first Development Plan.  This aims to direct Government revenues and external assistance towards ambitious development targets that benefit the people of South Sudan.

UNDP’s work towards economic planning includes the provision of technical and institutional support to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the State Ministries of Finance, and to the county level. Through this, UNDP has provided support to the annual planning and budgeting process and improved the management and coordination of aid resources. UNDP is working towards a future in which the government is delivering services across South Sudan through decentralized governance structures and developing inclusive growth strategies that promote employment, livelihoods, resilience and sustainable development.

As part of UNDP’s support for pro-poor policies, the organization is providing assistance to the Government in designing a social cash transfer programme. Cash Transfers can be a powerful tool in poverty alleviation as they provide a safety net that can quickly improve a family’s standard of living.  In addition it can contribute to sustained economic growth because the money is spent locally regenerating markets, and invested in productive assets like fertilizer or animals, while helping family members to job seek or go to school. The initiative aims to reach the most marginalized and give them a stake in society after the years of war, and it could play a significant role in helping to meet the high expectations the population has of its leaders and its Government.

UNDP works with the South Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation in strengthening statistical capabilities and systems for data collection, analysis and dissemination.  In 2010, UNDP helped to prepare the first broad study of poverty in the south.

The publication of this data was a landmark achievement and is now widely sourced as the most reliable data on poverty in South Sudan, which helps to inform dialogue and evidence-based policy making by Government.

UNDP plays a critical role as the principal recipient of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, helping fight diseases in South Sudan that have had a devastating affect across Africa. The work has targeted education, awareness and treatment, as well as de-stigmatizing the illnesses in rural communities.

Current Challenges

  • 90 percent of the population survive on less than $1 a day.
  • 83 percent of the population lives in rural communities.
  • Half the population does not have access to safe drinking water.
  • More than 80 percent of the population has no sanitation facility.

Key Achievements

  • Enhanced dialogue and debate for a pro-poor agenda in South Sudan through advocacy as well as advice to the Government and partners.
  • Strengthened budgeting, planning and aid coordination systems through support to Budget Sector Working Groups and the implementation of the Government of South Sudan Aid Strategy.
  • Implementation of an aid information management system in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
  • Technical support and training was provided to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Bank of South Sudan officials.
  • US$47 million grant focusing on reconstruction and rehabilitation of health infrastructure and enhancement of service delivery.
  • 200,000 young people given HIV/AIDS education; more than 105,000 received HIV counseling and testing.