JUBA, South Sudan, September 20, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The European Union today committed €3 million (about US$3.9 million) to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) trust fund to help South Sudan develop essential macroeconomic institutions, policies and skills through the IMF's expert capacity development activities. IMF Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik and Francesca Mosca, Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and Horizontal African, Caribbean and Pacific Matters at the European Commission's Directorate General for Development and Cooperation, signed an agreement in Brussels today for a contribution of €3 million to the Trust Fund to Support Capacity Building for Macroeconomic Policies and Statistics for South Sudan. The United Kingdom and Norway have pledged additional resources to the trust fund and discussions are ongoing with other donors.
“I am thrilled to welcome the European Union's support for this vital work. Sustained and inclusive growth requires sound macroeconomic policies, good governance, and development-oriented budgets and policies. Strengthening South Sudan's capacity will need not only intensive investment, but importantly effective cooperation between donors and technical assistance providers,” Ms. Shafik said during the ceremony. “The trust fund, with a participatory Steering Committee that includes donors and the authorities of South Sudan, provides a crucial mechanism to coordinate, prioritize and evaluate our work.”
“The European Union has made it a priority to help the South Sudanese Government to respond to the country's multiple economic and development challenges,” Ms. Mosca noted. “By becoming the principal donor to the Trust Fund, the EU wants to forge a privileged relationship with the IMF, and concert efforts towards strengthening economic governance in South Sudan. Only through strong institutional structures and by applying coherent and state-of-the-art policy frameworks will the Government be able to manage and use its abundant domestic resources effectively for the benefit of the South Sudanese people,” she said.
The Republic of South Sudan became an independent country in July 2011 and the 188th member of the IMF on April 18, 2012 (see Press Release No. 12/140). On April 9, 2012 the Executive Board of the IMF added South Sudan to the list of members eligible for concessional lending (see Press Release No. 12/298). Since independence, the Fund has been stepping up the provision of technical assistance and training to South Sudan (see Press Release No. 11/292). Over the past year, staff has been providing the authorities with policy and technical advice in a number of areas, including foreign exchange policy and reserve management, central bank organization, public financial management, fiscal revenue, and macroeconomic statistics.
The Fund is coordinating with donors and technical assistance providers to support South Sudan through a dedicated trust fund for capacity-building of about US$10.3 million over the next three years.