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1 million girls reached with cash transfers in South Sudan – Donors

Author: Wote Charles | Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Some students of Juba Girls Secondary School during the marking of one million girls reach with Cash Transfer marking a major milestone for girls' education in South Sudan. Photo: Charles Wote/August 15, 2023

A group of donor countries has announced that over one million girls in South Sudan have received the cash transfers terming it a major milestone for girls’ education.

The government of the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, the United States, and Sweden said the help was channelled through Girls Education South Sudan, phase two where it reached 1.05 million girls across the country.

They note that 2.8 million children in South Sudan are out of school with poverty being the biggest barrier to education.

In a joint statement issued yesterday, the multinational says girls are often the first to miss out on school as boys are traditionally prioritized when families struggle to meet the cost of schooling.

Other factors they mentioned include long distances to access schools, child marriage, and early pregnancy which has left many girls dropping out of school.

The multi-donor countries say the cash has helped a million girls and their families meet the costs of going to school, buy uniforms, books, sanitary items and pay for transport.

Kobi Bentley is the Humanitarian and Development Director at the British Embassy in Juba.

She says the UK will continue to support the education sector in South Sudan.

“As the UK, we are extremely proud to have played a role in supporting the girl’s education in South Sudan, phase one and phase two,” said Kobi.

“I am very excited we have now passed the mark of having one million girls receiving cash transfers,” she said.

“We know those cash transfers are having an impact, they are helping girls come to school, they are helping girls stay in school.”

“They are helping girls buy the things that they need that enable them to come to school whether that is books, sanitary products, transport those type of things.”

“We are really pleased to hear from the girls directly today about the impact that it is having and we look forward to continuing to support education in South Sudan.”

Meanwhile, Richard K. Adzei Director, Office of Education and Youth, USAID South Sudan described this as an achievement.

“We are making one million reaches in South Sudan which is a huge accomplishment,” said Richard.

“I think everyone should appreciate and everyone should actually also keep in mind that this is fantastic charity from the people of the UK, Canada, Sweden, the US, and European Union.”

For her part, Akuja de Garang, the national Team leader for Girls Education South Sudan says though a significant number of girls have enrolled in school delivering quality education remains a challenge.

According to her, teachers need to be equipped with the necessary skills to enable them to deliver quality education to learners.

“There is one payment to go before the program ends for 2023, we are preparing to make those payments soon,” said Akuj.

“I think what is important is that we need to mark this but also to send the message there are still challenges that are facing girls specifically but the education system in South Sudan in general,” she said.

“We know that yes, we have managed to support girls to go to school so the demand for education has gone up however we know there are issues around the supply of quality education for various reasons.”

“We know that our teachers perhaps are not being equipped with the skills because they need to be able to deliver quality education.”

The Girls Education South Sudan program is a multi-donor partnership between the governments of the UK, Canada, EU, United States, and Sweden.

By March next year, donors will have spent over 93 million US dollars under the GESS two program which runs between 2018 to 2024.

GESS 2 has supported nearly 250 secondary schools with grants through cash transfers to girls from Primary five to senior four.

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