The World Bank Group has appointed Firas Raad as the new Country Manager for South Sudan. Raad took up his position on 1 August to lead an expanding country programme focused on delivering project financing and analytical services in support of development priorities.
The World Bank Group’s current portfolio in the country consists of six engagements with a total financing volume of $375 million in commitments.
Under his tenure, the World Bank Group will continue to work closely with the Government of South Sudan, development partners, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders with the goal of improving development outcomes for the people of South Sudan, particularly in the areas of economic growth, governance, agri-business, human capital development, and resilience.
Raad, a Jordanian national, has extensive experience in the areas of economic and human development and has worked with the World Bank Group, the United Nations, and the Jordanian Government over the past 27 years.
He joined the World Bank in 2002 as a Health Policy Specialist and has since held various technical and management positions in the Middle East and North Africa region and the East Asia and Pacific Region. His most recent management assignment was serving as Country Manager for Malaysia where he led the World Bank Group Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub based in Kuala Lumpur.
Raad commented: “I am honoured to take on this new role as Country Manager for South Sudan at an important time in the country’s history and development journey. Over the last three years, the World Bank Group has endeavoured to support the development gains achieved by the country since the signing of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement.”
“Going forward, we aim to support the Government of South Sudan in consolidating these gains and making even greater progress towards improving the lives and livelihoods of the South Sudanese people. Naturally, much of our effort will hinge crucially on the continued preservation of peace and stability in the country,” he said.
The World Bank Group has been a long-standing development partner of South Sudan, stretching back to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.
In the next two years, the World Bank Group will be scaling up its engagements along the three main pillars of work:
(i) laying the ground for institution-building;
(ii) supporting basic service delivery; and
(iii) building resilience and livelihood opportunities.
These engagements will be financed through budgetary resources made available by the International Development Association of the World Bank Group.
Raad will be based in Juba and succeeds Husam Abudagga who recently completed his two-year term as Country Manager for South Sudan.