April 18, 2013 (JUBA) – Donor and development partners have pledged up to $300m as aid meant to support South Sudan’s turbulent economy, the country’s ministry of Finance has announced.
- South Sudan Finance Minister Kosti Manibe (ST)
However, much if this new support, according to the ministry, would be provided through the government budget; a sign of “increased confidence in South Sudan’s public financial management system”.
The decision, the ministry said in a statement, emerged out of this week’s South Sudan Economic Partners Forum, hosted by the US Department of State on April 16.
The forum, held in Washington DC, was organised by the Governments of the US and South Sudan, in coordination with the European Union, Norway and the United Kingdom. More than 40 other governments and international organizations reportedly participated in the event.
“The forum marked the start of an enhanced partnership to strengthen governance, political inclusiveness and sustainable development in South Sudan,” the US Department of State, said in a release.
Partners at the meeting, it added, also reviewed South Sudan’s progress over the challenging past 18 months, while welcoming its government’s fiscal and economic strategy, and reportedly agreed on the outlines of a compact based on mutual commitments to reform and international engagement.
At the forum, South Sudan delegation, led by its finance minister, Kosti Manibe, reportedly met with ministers and senior representatives from countries that participated, as well as international organisations.
Manibe, in his remarks, described the shocks that affected South Sudan over the past 20 months, especially after 98% of government revenue was lost after the oil shutdown in January last year.
The minister, a statement extended to Sudan Tribune says, also revealed how the young nation stood at the brink of conflict, suffered food shortages, and saw the arrival of 200,000 refugees from Sudan.
“Some observers did not expect the young nation to survive these challenges. However, with resolve, discipline and prudence South Sudan succeeded in overcoming the most pressing challenges,” he stressed.
The finance minister, however, emphasized that it will be important to use natural resources in a disciplined, efficient and prudent manner.
“With improved governance, South Sudan will be able to tackle its development priorities, improve the business environment, protect civil liberties, increase the wellbeing of its people, and care for future generations”.
Achieving all these goals, he told the forum, will not be easy, but appealed to donor to assist South Sudan put in place the necessary institutions essential for reforms and effective aid management.
Meanwhile, donors and the international community have urged South Sudan to exercise prudence, good governance, and increased transparency, in addition to protecting civil liberties and improving accountability.