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South Sudan Lacks reforms to financial governance, no approved budget for peace

Dec 7. 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Latest reports by the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan reveals that the world’s youngest nation is facing a huge financial crisis more than what is witnessed on the streets of Juba, and plans to revert such crises remain illusive, at least when compared to the international standards.

President Salva Kiir presiding over the swearing in ceremony of the newly appointed finance minister and planning among other officials(Photo credit: OoP/Nyamilepedia)
President Salva Kiir presiding over the swearing in ceremony of the newly appointed finance minister and planning among other officials(Photo credit: OoP/Nyamilepedia)

According to the UN Security Council report, the transparency initiatives which were initiated by the former Minister of Petroleum in 2019 have stalled yet the economic and financial reforms stipulated in chapter 4 of the agreement are not being implemented.

“Amid the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, the transparency initiatives called for in the peace agreement, which the Ministry of Petroleum started in 2019, have stalled (see S/2019/301 and S/2020/342).” Part of the UN Experts’ report reads.

“The economic and financial reforms stipulated in chapter 4 of the peace agreement have not been implemented.” the report continued.

In addition, South Sudan does not have an approved fiscal plan and it has no approved budget roadmap that details how the country plans to allocate resources for peace implementation.

“As of late October 2020, three months into the 2020/21 fiscal year, the Ministry of Finance and Planning had not released its approved budget book detailing how it planned to allocate resources for peace implementation.” The UN Experts said.

The report also revealed that South Sudan government budget is not subjected to oversight or accountability and opposition-appointed ministers lack access to their own budgets.

“Government spending has not been subject to oversight, and opposition-appointed Government ministers told the Panel that in some cases even they have lacked access to their own ministries’ budgets.” the UN Report added.

The UN Experts noted that South Sudan got assistance from the international donors such as IMF to form a Public Financial Management Oversight Committee to outline reforms needed to quickly improve financial governance; however, the reforms which are outside the peace agreement doctrines have remained incomplete.

“that in order to accelerate technical reforms, the Ministry of Finance and Planning and international donors formed the Public Financial Management Oversight Committee. The Committee has outlined emergency reforms designed to quickly improve financial governance, such as by reviewing collateralized oil contracts.” Part of the UNSC report reads

“However, the reforms, which are outside the framework of the peace agreement, have
remained incomplete.” the UNSC report continued.

Impressed by the Public Financial Management Oversight Committee report, the IMF Approves US$52.3 Million Disbursement to South Sudan to Address COVID-19 and other financial needs

While the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, is struggling to make end meets, latest reports by the UN Experts indicate that the East African nation has a lot more to do to meet expectations of their own people and to meet international standards.

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