21st April 2021
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South Sudan’s economy needs ‘irreversible’ reforms—Troika

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Friday, April 2, 2021

A trader in Juba. File Photo

The Troika countries have called on the government of South Sudan to deploy transparency and accountability reforms in managing the over $170 million provided by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF announced two days ago that it has provided $174.2 million in emergency assistance for South Sudan to address the Coronavirus and its impact on the economy.

The disbursement made under IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility aims to provide financing for improving imports, reducing poverty, and increasing economic growth.

The funding is partly to ensure adequate resource allocation for priority expenditure, including vaccinations, salaries, and critical investments.

According to the IMF, South Sudan’s economy, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic is expected to shrink by 4.2 percent in its 2021 financial year.

The funding targets three focus areas– macro-economic stability, foreign exchange reform, and Public Financial Management reform and institution building.

These areas, according to the Troika – are critical points that will also assist with the implementation of the economic and financial provisions of the revitalized peace agreement.

In a statement yesterday, the Troika consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway say the government of South Sudan should be transparent in managing the funds.

It says it will follow the extent to which the Government of South Sudan delivers on the agreed IMF targets, and also the spirit by which it does so.

It further urges the government to “ensure greater transparency to its people over how their resources are used, and for those in power to be held accountable for misuse.”

The Troika emphasizes that it looks forward to seeing the audit of the first tranche of the loan by the end of June and a regular audit of the account.

It additionally says there is a need for a monthly publication of pandemic-related spending, and quarterly publication of all government spending and relevant oil data.

According to Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Index, South Sudan and Somalia ranked joint-most corrupt countries in the world.

The anti-graft body attributed the country’s poor performance to what it called “impunity leaders exercise in managing public resources.”

It says leaders who are accused of corruption are not arrested, charged, or prosecuted.

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