Lord Alton of Liverpool – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for International Development

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool on 2016-06-20.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the Juba Teaching Hospital in South Sudan has adequate supplies of electricity; what assessment they have made of the effect of power cuts and power rationing on that hospital’s ability to provide treatment; whether they have raised the issue of the lack of electricity at the Juba Teaching Hospital with the government of South Sudan; and what steps they will take to ensure that that government takes action.

Baroness Verma

The Government of South Sudan has provided one year’s supply of fuel to the Juba Teaching Hospital. The fuel was delivered and electricity was restored to the hospital at the end of May 2016. The Government has also recently signed a contract with a private company to undertake general renovation of the hospital.

The South Sudan Government’s annual budget allocations for health and education are amongst the lowest in the region averaging 6% for education and 4% for health, compared to an average of 17% and 15% respectively in other East African countries. The UK has consistently lobbied for increased budget allocations to these sectors. The UK is pressing the Government of South Sudan to increase funding for health in the 2016-17 annual budget which will be set in July, particularly for medicines, hospital infrastructure, recurrent running costs including fuel, and personnel for hospitals and clinics. This issue was most recently raised in a meeting with the Minister of Health, Riek Gai Kok on 21 June 2016.