Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved a disbursement of $52.3 million to South Sudan under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to respond to COVID-19 economic fallout.
The loan is the first Fund supported financial assistance provided to South Sudan since it joined the Fund in 2012.
The IMF said the disbursement will help finance South Sudan’s urgent balance of payments needs, contain the fiscal impact of the shock and will provide critical fiscal space to maintain poverty-reducing and growth-enhancing spending.
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Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Manging Director and Acting Chair, said “the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected South Sudan and reversed early gains from political stability.”
He wrote: “The health and economic impact of the pandemic, coupled with the decline in oil prices, led to a collapse of revenues and have created urgent balance of payments and fiscal financing needs.
“The authorities’ efforts to address the human and economic effects of the pandemic are appropriate and have helped limit its spread. Additional financing from the international community remains critical to close the external financing gap and ease the adjustment burden.
“The authorities are committed to pursuing macroeconomic stability by implementing fiscal consolidation, limiting the use of monetary financing of the deficit and containing reliance on non-concessional debt. They intend to safeguard poverty-reducing and growth-enhancing spending.
“The authorities are implementing public financial management reforms to enhance the budget process and improve governance. They have established a Public Financial Management Oversight Committee and are preparing a reform strategy.
“With technical assistance, they are strengthening budget and cash management systems. The authorities are committed to full transparency and accountability of crisis-related spending, including publishing information on procurement and ex-post audits.”