A report from The Sentry says that, between 2012 and 2015, the government of South Sudan received a credit line in US dollars for nearly one billion dollars from Qatar National Bank (QNB) and CfC Stanbic Bank in Kenya. This was used to issue letters of credit (LC) to support efforts to import much-needed food, fuel, and medicine. The Sentry’s 3-year investigation into the LC program is said to have found that multimillion-dollar contracts were awarded to foreign-run companies, companies that only existed on paper, and inexperienced middlemen. Businesses with connections to the ruling class were among those that received contracts collectively worth tens of millions of dollars under the program, according to official documents. It appears that millions of dollars’ worth of essential pharmaceuticals, fuel, and food were not delivered. Almost $1 billion effectively walked out of the country, and the human cost remains to be calculated.
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