African bank approves $6.5m to help South Sudan

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World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim addreses the African Bank Group (AfDB), April 16, 2015.

JUBA - The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved $6.5-million to improve water supply that would benefit 230,000 people in South Sudan’s capital Juba following days of clashes between rival army factions.

A statement from AfDB received in Juba on Saturday said the funds from the Transition Support Facility-Trust Fund will strengthen efficient utility operations, private sector participation and women empowerment.

"The project aims to improve the livelihoods of people in Juba city through the provision of improved water supply infrastructure," AfDB said.

The approval comes on the heels of recent violent conflicts between rival factions in Juba which has left more than 300 people dead and thousands others displaced.

Aid agencies on Friday launched a revised appeal, seeking $701-million to help South Sudanese refugees which could pass 1 million mark this year if cross-border displacement trends continue.

The UN refugee agency has also expressed concerns about the possibility of fresh outflows of refugees in the wake of the recent military crisis in Juba and the dearth of funding for South Sudanese refugees.

Currently, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is protecting some 33,000 internally displaced persons in Juba.

The African bank said it needs to continue to implement its operations in fragile states which have the tendency to oscillate between conflict and peace.

AfDB however emphasized the need to make safeguards for the resources and the staff overseeing the implementation, and maintain close coordination with other development partners on the ground.