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South Sudan is World Bank's Newest Member

South Sudan's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Kosti Manibe Ngai (L) signs the treaty to become IMF's newest member as US State Department Treaty Analyst Francis Holleran (R) looks on at the State Department, April 18, 2012 in Washington.

South Sudan became the newest member of the World Bank on Wednesday when the country's finance minister, Kosti Manibe Ngai, signed an agreement in Washington formalizing the country's membership in the organization.

South Sudan has suffered from decades of conflict, and the World Bank says the world's newest country has some of the lowest levels of education and health resources in the world. About half the country's population lives in poverty.

South Sudan is about the size of France, but has few roads and other forms of infrastructure.

World Bank membership will help South Sudan gain access to low interest loans and technical advice.