Government advised to reduce misuse of oil money amid gloomy economy

By Taban Henry

The World Bank has urged the government of South Sudan to improve on transparency and accountability while reducing the misuse of oil revenues in order to sustain future growth.

A report released by the World Bank revealed that in the rest of the region, South Sudan has experienced unprecedented increases, in the price of food and basic household commodities with higher frequency data indicating that Juba’s market prices hike from 10-25 percent from December 2021 to March 2022.

“The rising food prices reflects the fall of domestic cereal production due to adverse climatic conditions and resumption of the localized conflict in 2021 with more than 60 percent of the population (7.7 million people) facing acute food insecurity in 2022 and the food insecurity will worsen if food prices continue to rise,” the report’s Executive summary read in part.

The report also hinted that the war between Ukraine and Russia primarily contributed to the increase of the prices across the world since the two countries are the major exporters of agricultural, energy and mineral commodities.

The World Bank pointed that though higher oil prices improved budget revenues and strengthen the external position of South Sudan, it could be beneficial to the Country only if corruption in the handling of natural capital is reduced.

“South Sudan natural capital has the potential to sustain future growth by managing the use of its renewable resources (arable land) as well as its nonrenewable resources (oil and mineral). However the oil sector is faced with numerous governance challenges, including off-budget revenue and expenditure practices,” the report noted.

It stated that production has peaked in some blocks which require new investment to ramp up output adding the country’s potential has not been realized in agriculture as a result of years of conflict, displacement and climate shocks that have sustained high level of food insecurity.   

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