South Sudan seeks $ 250 million loan from African Exim Bank
JUBA, Aug. 25 (Reuters) – Cash-strapped South Sudan seeks a $ 250 million loan from the African Import-Export Bank, the deputy agriculture minister said, to put implement a long-delayed peace agreement, fight COVID-19 and support Food Security.
“The African Import-Export Bank has agreed to continue the process of finalizing the loan on condition that the government of South Sudan goes through the correct procedures,” said Lily Akol Akol, telling state television on Monday that ‘it was an “emergency loan”.
She spoke a week after the central bank warned the country was running out of dollars.
Oil-rich South Sudan, which has suffered from five years of civil war since gaining independence in 2011, has drawn repeated criticism for rampant corruption.
He also contacted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help, but it is not known if that will be successful.
Experts trying to analyze South Sudan’s debt profile face a dual problem, a diplomat said: Sometimes officials are unwilling to share data, and sometimes it is not even known if it exists. . The diplomat was not authorized to speak to the media and therefore requested anonymity.
Although South Sudan has always kept dollar reserves low – typically around two weeks – reserves have reportedly been halved over the past month to five days of imports, the diplomat told Reuters last week.
With the South Sudanese Pound (SSP) depreciating and reserves shrinking, the greatest risk is the type of hyperinflation that topped 800% in 2016, helping to push pockets of the country into famine the following year.
Currently, food prices are rising but not rising, said Abdalla Nasir, a wholesaler at Konyokonyo market. Since June, a 25 kg bag of beans has gone from 8,000 SSP in June to 10,000 SSP, and a 50 kg bag of maize from 8,500 SSP to 12,000 SSP.
Security remains an issue. The rebels who did not sign the 2018 peace agreement are still mounting attacks; six bodyguards of one of the vice presidents were ambushed and killed last week. (Additional reporting by Katharine Houreld; writing by Katharine Houreld; editing by Mark Potter)