South Sudan seeks $250 million loan to fix its budget deficit

South Sudan Deputy Minister of Agriculture Lily Akol Akol

The government of South Sudan is planning to borrow 250 millions US Dollars from Africa Export and Import Bank to finance the gap in the country’s budget.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Member of economic cluster, Lily Albino Akol Akol told South Sudan Broadcast Corporation on Monday. The minister said Africa Export and Import bank has agreed as long as South Sudan’s government follows the right procedures.

According to Akol, the money will be used to cover the losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and fund other important projects.

“The loan will make sure that the government will procure necessary supplies and also implement some very important infrastructural projects which will provide job opportunities for many of our youth, ” the deputy minister said.

South Sudan, a country that depends mainly oil revenues, is hit hard by the pandemic that interrupted the operation of oil companies, leading to drop in oil production from about 250,000 barrels a day to 180,000 barrels a day, according to ministry of petroleum. South Sudan’s declining economy is at the brink of collapse now that the country is fighting the global enemy COVID-19.

Last week, the second deputy governor of the country’s central bank told the press that the bank has run out of foreign exchange reserves and that they could no longer save its depreciating pounds against foreign currencies. The rate of South Sudanese pounds was 165 a dollar at the Bank of South Sudan (South Sudan’s Central Bank), 190 in commercial banks and 400 SSP at the black market.

Last week, the cluster chaired by the Vice President, Dr. Wani approved additional 60 million South Sudanese pounds as a supplement to 2019/2020 annual budget, according to Eye Radio. The additional money will go into the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.