Big Story 10

South Sudan's cabinet passes $584 million budget for 2018-19

(This version of the June 14 story corrects dollar figure in headline and lead)

JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan’s cabinet adopted on Thursday a budget of 81.6 billion South Sudanese pounds ($584 million) for the 2018-19 fiscal year, an increase of 75 percent from the previous period, the government said.

More than four years of civil war have destroyed South Sudan’s economy. Inflation was at 161.2 percent in March, with hyperinflation persisting for several years due in part to its depreciating currency.

The government depends on crude oil, but output is less than half its pre-war level of 245,000 barrels per day.

Information Minister Michael Makuei told reporters that the proposed budget would be presented to parliament for approval next week.

He did not give details over how South Sudan planned to finance the budget. Last year, Juba asked donors to fund more than a third of that year’s spending plan.

South Sudan secured independence from Sudan in 2011 but slid into civil war just two years later, following a dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar.

As the conflict continues, many of the country’s 12 million people are struggling to find enough to eat.

Inflation has averaged 89 percent over the past 10 years, racing to a peak of 835.70 percent in October 2016.

Writing by Aaron Maasho; reporting by Denis Dumo; editing by Larry King