The South Sudan National COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) was issued at the beginning of June 2021. It described priority activities to be carried out over one year period, June 2021 to May 2022, with a financial requirement of US$ 49,165,087 million. This plan takes into account the rapidly changing context of the global and regional COVID-19 transmission. Its scope was expanded, both in terms of the numbers of potential increase of new infections due to resurgence and emergence of new variants, widespread community transmission as well as development new guidelines with addition of two pillars namely essential health service and health system and vaccination. Its strategies, approaches and activities under the different technical pillars reflect updated guidance. During the development the national COVID-19 SPRP a number of expert organizations reviewed the potential scope of transmission, pointing to potentially large numbers of infections in the months ahead. In parallel, a wide range of technical guidance has been issued or updated, reflecting learning globally, regionally and locally about the situation of the disease and appropriate programming practices.
The SPRP 2021-2022 invited relevant stakeholders and national authorities to update COVID-19 national plans to incorporate lessons learned throughout the implementation of the 2020-2021 National Preparedness and Response Plan (NPRP), and to anticipate and prepare for the challenges of 2021-2022, including the need to prepare all health systems to safely and equitably implement new COVID-19 tools such as vaccines. It is also intended for use by UN Country Teams and key partners to develop or update their 2021-2022 COVID-19 multiagency plans with and in support of national authorities. The SPRP 2021-2022 also described the regional and global technical and operational platforms that will continue to support countries throughout 2021 to implement national action plans, to accelerate equitable access to new COVID-19 tools. The SPRP 2021-2022 provided practical, high-level actions under each of ten preparedness and response pillars that can implemented at national and subnational levels in order to achieve the SPRP six strategic objectives such as: suppress transmission; reduce exposure; counter misinformation and disinformation; protect the vulnerable; reduce death and illness; and accelerate equitable access to new tools, including vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. The plan was updated through a participatory and consultative process. Led by a small planning group commissioned by the National Steering Committee (NSC), the different pillars provided strategic, technical and financial inputs according to identified priorities. The leadership of each pillar comprising a designated representative from the Ministry of Health (MOH), United Nations (UN) organizations and a non-government lead agency (NGOs) in consultation with operational and technical partners through their respective Technical Working Groups (TWGS). A first round of inputs was subjected to inter-pillar peer review, allowing for the extensive review of proposed strategies and requirements and the incorporation of refinements. The draft plan was subsequently presented to different forums, including the National Steering Committee, and respective TWGs prior to its final endorsement.