South Sudan pound strengthens against USD amid peace progress
JUBA, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The South Sudanese pound has registered a significant gain against the U.S. dollar, exchanging at 150 from over 250 earlier this month as the warring parties gear up to ink a peace deal, an official said on Wednesday.
Moses Hassan Tiel, South Sudan's minister for trade and East African Community affairs, told Xinhua that inflation in the country has improved significantly in the last three weeks following the peace deal signed last month in Khartoum by the government and rebels.
"We have four main markets where we collect price monitoring and since this week the basic commodity prices are drastically reduced in the country," said Tiel.
He added that the economy will recover if the local currency continues to rally against the dollar.
Akec Peter Deng, a Juba-based currency dealer said the rate at which the local currency is rallying against the dollar within a short period was encouraging.
Recently, the central bank governor Dier Tong Ngor introduced higher banknote of 500 pounds to back earlier policies cancelling all the applications for foreign exchange seeking bank approval in a bid to increase dollar inflows into the market.
South Sudan floated the fixed exchange rate in December 2015 with no official foreign currency rate set by the government since then.
South Sudan's conflict that has now entered its fifth year erupted in late 2013 after forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar engaged in combat.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.