The European Union (EU) has committed US $3.9 Million (around euros 3M) 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 yesterday for to contribute euro 3M to the Trust Fund to Support Capacity Building for Macroeconomic Policies and Statistics for South Sudan, the IMF said. 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 EU’s support for this vital work. Sustained and inclusive growth requires sound macroeconomic policies, good governance, and development-oriented budgets and policies,” said Shafik. “Strengthening South Sudan’s capacity will need not only intensive investment, but importantly effective cooperation between donors and technical assistance providers. 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,” she added. Speaking at the occasion, Francesca Mosca said, “The EU has made it a priority to help the South Sudanese Government to respond to the country’s multiple economic and development challenges.” “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 became the 188th member of the IMF on April 18, 2012. Since independence, the Fund has been stepping up the provision of technical assistance and training to South Sudan. 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$10.3M over the next three years.