South Sudan seeks $250 million pandemic-relief loan

Lily Albino Akol Akol South Sudan’s National Deputy Minister of Information & Communication

South Sudan has announced that it is seeking $250 million from African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) to cushion its economy from disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the country’s deputy minister of Agriculture and food security, Lily Albino Akol, the loan facility will be used to finance government priorities including mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the economic sector.

Akol adds that the government is in the final stages of securing a deal with the bank, noting that the loan will be utilized for bridging revenue deficits created by COVID-19’s impact on the economy.

Key areas to be funded through the loan include peace implementation and economic mitigation , especially after the low economic growth imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We will look at the implementation of the peace agreement, the fight against COVID-19 and food security in terms of availability of necessary commodities in the market as well as agricultural production,” Akol adds.

The move comes barely a week after the central bank announced that it has run out of foreign exchange reserves.

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