By Julius N. Uma
August 26, 2012 (JUBA) – A South Sudan government delegation, led by cabinet affairs minister Deng Alor, held talks with Donald Steinberg, the deputy administrator for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) last week.
- USAID deputy administrator, Donald Steinberg (centre), Juba Port, 2011 (USAID)
A meeting, held in Washington DC was also attended by Kosti Manibe, South Sudan’s finance and economic planning minister and his petroleum and mining counterpart, Stephen Dhieu Dau.
A statement extended to Sudan Tribune said both parties discussed ways to strengthen South Sudan’s financial management, improve government transparency for donors and investors, tackle rising food insecurity and prevent humanitarian crises.
At least 4.7 million South Sudanese, which is almost half the country’s population, according to a UN assessment, remain food insecure this year, with about one million of them likely to be severely affected.
The two parties, the statement added, also committed themselves to strengthening their long-standing partnerships, while exploring ways in which the population can benefit from US investment.
The meeting comes a month after the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, visited Juba, the South Sudan capital, as part of her 11-day tour of seven African countries. Clinton, during her visit, also reiterated her government’s support for South Sudan.
Since 2005, the US has been South Sudan’s primary donor. The former US president George W. Bush, also played a key role in a 2005 peace deal, which saw a cessation of violence between the two countries.