JUBA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has on Wednesday approved a disbursement of over $52.3 million in aid to South Sudan to help in the fight the coronavirus pandemic, and payment of salaries, according to a statement issued by the IMF.
The statement said the disbursement was approved under the IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) which, according to the monetary body, “provides rapid concessional financial assistance with limited conditionality to low-income countries (LICs) facing an urgent balance of payments need.”
“The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a disbursement of SDR 36.9 million (about US$52.3 million or 15 percent of its SDR quota) to South Sudan under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) . This is the first Fund supported financial assistance provided to South Sudan since it joined the Fund in 2012,” the statement said.
The statement said the disbursement, the first of its kind since 2012, will help South Sudan, “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.”
The IMF’s Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, said the coronavirus pandemic “has severely affected South Sudan and reversed early gains from political stability.”
“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.”