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Budget deficit: Donors seek transparency

Author : | Published: Thursday, February 9, 2017

We still need to see transparency in the financing and spending, donors have told the government.

They were responding to an appeal by the minister of finance to fund part of this year’s financial budget.

The financial budget for this financial year, which ends in June, is more than 29 billion South Sudanese pounds.

It has a deficit of more than $200 million.

“I need support from the donors to come in and support the budget and to provide even technical support to the ministry of Finance for us to undertake this reform agenda, the establishment of the National Revenue Authority and to support the Banks of South Sudan,” Minister Stephen Dhieu said  on Wednesday.

He argued that one cause of the deficit was the depreciation of the South Sudanese Pound against the US dollar, which means less value for the national currency.

Another was the drop of oil prices at the international markets.

He said the deficit may reduce a little due to the improvement in oil prices this year.

A barrel of crude oil is now selling at $40 compared to $30 by the end of 2016

Mr Dhieu also called on the donors to provide technical support to the Central Bank as part of the reform agenda in line with the peace agreement.

In response to the appeal, donors acknowledged progress in implementing reforms in the economic sector.

“The transparency in the financing and transparency in the spending is very important for us as we already provide support of over $1b to South Sudan every year, especially in humanitarian field but also development aid and reconstruction after areas of South Sudan have been destroyed by war,” German Ambassador to South Sudan Johannes Lehne said on behalf of donors.

Donors include Germany, UK, Norway, and the US.

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