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         Emergency drought recovery project

The Sudan Emergency Drought Recovery project (EDRP), supported by Credit 2290-SU for US$16 million, was approved in FY91. Additional funding of US$7.5 million was provided through amendments to four existing IDA credits. The project was closed as scheduled in FY94. US$2.7 million was canceled. The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) was prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization Cooperative Program (FAO/CP) on behalf of the Africa Regional Office. The ICR does not include a contribution from the borrower.

Following an FAO drought disaster alert, the Bank reacted quickly and prepared EDRP, taking into account prior experience with an earlier drought recovery program (Credit 1614-SU, FY85). ERDP’s objectives were to alleviate the impact of drought on the poor and vulnerable in the most affected areas and to initiate an action plan to improve long-term food security. The project had four components: (i) improvement of water and sanitation facilities; (ii) health improvement through provision of emergency drugs; (iii) agricultural recovery through provision of seeds and tools for the subsistence sector and fuel, lubricants and spare parts for the mechanized sector; and (iv) technical assistance to enhance food security planning.

Overall project implementation, despite delays, was quite satisfactory, and the project achieved its objective of alleviating the impact of the drought on the poor and recovering agricultural production. Improvement of rural water supply and sanitation facilities benefited about 500,000 people. Distribution of emergency medical supplies was efficient and timely, helping to fight a meningitis epidemic. Medicines procurement under the project helped establish a national drug supply system. Emergency distribution of seeds and tools was carried out successfully, increasing production and benefiting about 250,000 people in the subsistence agriculture sector. There were substantial delays in the procurement of fuel, lubricants and spare parts to support increased production in the mechanized sector and no detailed distribution records exist The expected revolving fund to continue financing such inputs was not established. Food security technical assistance was effectively delivered, but the improved planning capability was not used under the newly decentralized government structure.

The Operations Evaluation Department (OED) agrees with the ICR ratings of outcome as satisfactory and sustainability, to the extent it applies to an emergency operation, as likely. However, there has been very little institutional development, and OED rates it as negligible (ICR partial). Bank performance is rated as satisfactory in the ICR and by OED.

This project confirms that drought emergencies can be largely averted through effective early warning systems and timely market interventions. Also, emergency interventions need to be prompt, and their successful implementation requires a capable existing infrastructure. When food is very scarce, food and seed requirements should be coordinated to minimize the loss of seed imports to human consumption.

The ICR is satisfactory and provides an excellent record of project implementation and outcome. The Region notes, however, that the ICR was not sent to the government for review because of the suspension of Bank operations in Sudan. As a result, the borrower was not involved beyond supporting the FAO/CP mission in the field. OED notes that even under the suspension of operations the Bank should have sought the comments from the borrower on the draft ICR.

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