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

In early November, UN agencies said up to two-thirds of South Sudan’s population may face severe food shortages in 2023.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit
South Sudan's Salva Kiir, its president, has been battling conflict and hunger in the country since independence in 2011 [Michael Tewelde/AFP]

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

“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 a statement on Tuesday.

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

In early November, 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.

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.

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

“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,” it said.

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

Source: News Agencies