8th August 2020
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USAID recommits to supporting reforms, building lasting peace in South Sudan

Author: Emmanuel Joseph Akile | Published: Friday, July 24, 2020

Leslie Reed visiting Pibor, during a devastating humanitarian situation caused by floods in November 2019. PHOTO//Twitter/@USAIDSouthSudan

The US Agency for International Development has reiterated its willingness to help the new unity government implement reforms envision in the peace agreement.

This includes public financial management reforms among others.

The outgoing USAID Mission Director in South Sudan, Leslie Reed said the mission will continue to partner with regional and international partners to support South Sudan achieve its goals.

According to the revitalized peace agreement, the government shall increase partnership, coordination and mutual accountability with development and humanitarian partners to ensure policies, strategies, programmes and projects, and action plans are developed through participatory and transparent mutual consent and accountability.

It mandates the Ministry of Finance and Planning to ensure that all public financial and budgetary commitments entered into by the new unity government are transparent, competitive and per the laws of the country and internationally accepted norms and practices for the management of public finances.

The agreement expects a review and implementation of a strategic national development plan to accelerate progress in achieving a sustainable and resilient national economy in collaboration with development partners.

“We are committed to working with the transitional government, civil society, regional and international partners to help build the lasting peace and greater prosperity that is really anticipated in the revitalized peace agreement,” said Leslie Reed.

The US government through the USAID is the biggest donor of humanitarian and developmental aid in South Sudan.

Reed added that the US government is now engaging the government of South Sudan to help its public financial management reform.   

“We are keeping a keen eye on the progress, right now the US embassy has been participating in some of the public financial management, reform efforts and we will be looking for opportunities to see where we can support efforts like those,” she stated.

The revitalized peace agreement stipulates that the unity government shall reform South Sudan’s existing economic and public sector financial management institutions.

These include ensuring that public financial management of oil and non-oil revenues, the exchange rate, budgetary processes, procurement, management of payroll, public concessions, borrowing, debt and regulatory agencies are effective, transparent and accountable, free from corruption.

It demands the proper allocation and use of resources for the benefit of the people of South Sudan.

“USAID and the US government continue to support South Sudan and your goals to develop your country, we want to help bring opportunities for you and your children and we are standing by you during difficult times such as the Covid-19 pandemic that we are all living through right now. I want to reassure everybody that we are still with you and we will continue to be by your side,” Reed concluded.

Leslie Reed has been the Mission Director for USAID South Sudan for the last one year. She leaves the post on July 31.

She was sworn in as USAID Mission Director for South Sudan on October 2, 2019, after serving as Mission Director for Ethiopia since 2016, where she led a major effort to support the reform efforts of the new Prime Minister, the development of the Mission’s new Country Development Cooperation Strategy, and responses to several humanitarian crises.

Reed also served as Mission Director for Uganda from 2012–2016, where she pioneered the Mission of Leaders Program that received agency-wide accolades for empowering staff to lead at all levels, resulting in greater development results.

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