IMF, South Sudan sign $112.7m emergency funds agreement

IMF, South Sudan sign $112.7m emergency funds agreement
IMF, South Sudan sign $112.7m emergency funds agreement

Confirmed reports have it that coming in November, up to two-thirds of South Sudan’s population, UN agencies said may face severe food shortages in 2023.

South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardit has been battling conflict of hunger in the country since independence in 2011.

But the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and South Sudan have reached a staff-level agreement for the release of about $112.7m in emergency financing.

Accordingly, “This emergency financing under the new Food Shock Window will help South Sudan address food insecurity, support social spending, and boost international reserves,” the IMF said in its statement on Tuesday.

In this regard, the IMF’s executive board will approve the financing in the coming weeks, the fund said.

It will be recalled that, in early November, the United Nations agencies said up to 7.8 million people in South Sudan, two-thirds of the population, may face severe food shortages during next year’s April-to-July lean season due to floods, drought, and conflict.

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However, South Sudan erupted into civil war shortly after getting independence from Sudan in 2011 and while a peace agreement signed four years ago is largely holding, the transitional government has been slow to unify various military factions.

Imperatively, on Tuesday, the IMF put the number of people experiencing severe food insecurity at an estimated 8.3 million.

Reports said, “The combination of continued localised conflict, four consecutive years of severe flooding, and the rising price of staple commodities from Russia’s war in Ukraine has increased the number of people experiencing severe food insecurity.”

Again, on Monday, the IMF had also announced the approval of an $88.3m disbursement to Malawi under the new “food shock window” with emergency lending facility launched in response to food price spikes and shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.

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