No more loans for South Sudan, say IMF and World Bank
The Ministry of Finance has said the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have cancelled all loans for South Sudan until the financial, and economic management reforms stated in Chapter Four of the September 2018 revitalised peace agreement are fully implemented.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave the conditions during the recent visit of the government delegation to Washington, DC, USA. The Minister of Finance and Planning, Agak Achuil Lual, headed the delegation.
Agak and his accompanying delegates, who included the Governor of the Central Bank, Moses Makur, took part in the World Bank-IMF meetings that focused on the world economic outlook in relation to Ukraine’s war and the impact on global financial stability.
Mr. Achuil, who also met with representatives of international and regional governments and financial institutions, said he proposed to the global community the need to shift focus from humanitarian support to developmental projects in South Sudan.
But the conditions to qualify for the support lie in the implementation of critical benchmarks, including the implementation of the Chapter Four Financial Management Reform.
“Our mission to Washington, DC, was successful. We clearly presented the case for continued support for South Sudan. “Both the World Bank and the IMF have committed to continue supporting the people and government of South Sudan,” Mr Achuil told the media in Juba yesterday.
“They gave us a very good advice: do your reform, be transparent, have good governance, accountability, and rule of law, and get support,” he said.
According to Chapter 4.1.7 of the 2018 peace agreement, the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) was supposed to undertake an immediate and medium-term economic and financial management reform program.
Furthermore, Chapter 4. 2.1.1 provides that the coalition government shall, within three months of the beginning of the transition, review legislation governing the Bank of South Sudan to restructure and enable the bank to render efficient and effective services, which include leadership, composition power functions, and operations.
According to Chapter 184.108.40.206, the Ministry of Finance and Planning shall ensure the sustainability of public finances across all levels of government through rigorous adherence to national laws and international standards.
However, Mr. Achuil, who was speaking during a joint press conference of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of South Sudan on Thursday in Juba, added that the same conditions apply to the lifting of sanctions on South Sudan.
“For the sanctions to be lifted means that you have good governance, leaders to be transparent and accountable.” If Agak Achuil takes money and is not accounted for, these sanctions will not go away.”
“When they see [the government] is doing good things, delivering services to the people, paying the salaries arrears, and the things that we are doing are right, then they will say that these guys are doing well.” So, sanctions are tied to what we are doing now, “Mr. Achuil added.
South Sudan, now struggling with the lifting of sanctions, affecting the government’s inability to implement key developmental projects, including a peace deal, has accrued billions of loans and yet needs more to fix deficiencies.