31st March 2023
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IMF approves $114.8 million for South Sudan

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Thursday, March 2, 2023

Finance Minister Dier Tong Ngor. (Courtesy).

The International Monetary Fund has approved over 114 million US dollars to help South Sudan address its food insecurity and stabilize the market.

This was announced by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dier Tong Ngor during a press conference in Juba on Thursday.

Minister Tong said the IMF approved the 114.8 US dollars in emergency financing under the Food Shock Window of the Rapid Financing Instrument.

“The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has yesterday, March 1st, 2023 approved the disbursement of USD 114.8 million to South Sudan,” Tong said during a press conference in Juba on Thursday.

“This disbursement is equivalent to 35% of South Sudan’s quota in the IMF will and it will help meet the urgent balance of payment needs while supporting food security and the part going for the budget support will meet urgent health and education financing.”

In a press release Wednesday, IMF noted that four consecutive years of flooding, the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the COVID-19 pandemic, have exacerbated an already-dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan.

The IMF said the disbursement is expected to provide the country with fiscal space to address food insecurity while maintaining social and growth-enhancing spending as well as boosting reserves.

Kenji Okamura, the Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair of IMF said the emergency financial assistance will help address urgent balance-of-payments needs and mitigate the impact of elevated food prices.

“The authorities’ commitment to work with international partners to ensure that part of the disbursement will provide immediate humanitarian assistance to address food insecurity is welcomed,” Okamura said according to the statement.

“The authorities have taken determined steps in recent months to restore fiscal discipline and rein in monetary growth.”

The IMF official recommends that the government must ensure macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, by closing the large fiscal gap remaining in the current fiscal year and pursuing a sensible monetary policy.

“The proposed policy framework under the Staff-Monitored Program approved by Management is sufficiently robust to meet the authorities’ objectives,” said Okamura.

He also suggested that continued progress on public financial management and governance reforms is important in fostering strong and inclusive growth and raising credibility with domestic and international stakeholders.

“This includes increased oil-sector transparency, strengthening the debt management framework and expenditure controls, regular reporting on debt and fiscal operations, and determining steps to operationalize the AML/CFT framework.”

“Swiftly addressing the findings from the audits of the two previous RCF disbursements and decisively implementing the recommendations of the 2021 safeguards assessment remain important.

The official further emphasized the need to implement the peace process, which he said, is a priority for South Sudan’s economic and social development.

“The authorities are highly encouraged to continue working with the international community and civil society to promote peace, stability, and national reconciliation.”

In March 2021, the International Monetary Fund also approved a disbursement of $174.2 million to South Sudan under the Rapid Credit Facility to address Covid-19 pandemic-related effects on the economy.

The IMF executive board approved the fund which is the second financial assistance to South Sudan since it joined the international financial institution in 2012.

The disbursement was to help finance South Sudan’s urgent balance of payments needs and provide critical fiscal space to maintain poverty-reducing and growth-enhancing spending.

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