As people face severe hardship, report slams Juba’s fiscal and economic policies, calls for international pressure and assistance, revised spending priorities, renewed commitment to peace
February 12, 2016 – As conditions for ordinary South Sudanese people continue to deteriorate, government mismanagement is combining with economic and political crises to create a “toxic situation,” according to a newly published briefing report by the Enough Project.
The report, “Addressing South Sudan’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis,” calls for action by the international community, and also for commitment by the warring parties to put the needs of the people ahead of their own. The country’s population currently suffers from severe shortages of food, fuel, and medical supplies.
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan’s economic and political crises are exacerbating each other, and the population is paying dearly. These interlocking crises and the gross mismanagement of resources by the government have undermined prospects for international support. However, living conditions are deteriorating dramatically. Internationally provided expert technical assistance and oversight at this critical time could potentially stabilize and ease the worst fallout from South Sudan’s poorly managed fiscal and monetary policies. The kind of international pressure exerted on the warring parties in support of the signing of the August 2015 peace accord is again needed at this critical stage to fight mass corruption and adopt responsible economic policies.”
Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The government’s ill-advised monetary policies create a toxic situation. South Sudan’s policymakers must re-balance skewed government spending to ensure that the current food crisis caused by depreciation of local currency and inflation does not threaten the whole population.”
J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan’s fiscal crisis is a painful illustration of how the country’s leaders have strong incentives to seize power but extremely weak incentives to govern effectively.”
Briefing report excerpts:
- The government’s spending is skewed in favor of security even in the face of the current urgent humanitarian crisis and growing concerns of potential widespread famine.
- Consumers must either pay five times as much for essential food items or purchase a fifth of the volume of food that they need. Many people cannot afford to buy food or other basic goods and services.
- Fuel prices have tripled—almost quadrupled—by some reports. Fuel shortages have been responsible for the deaths of some of the country’s most vulnerable people.
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About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org