South Sudan's foreign minister says the country has requested $1.9 billion from the Chinese government to develop oil fields and infrastructure projects.

Deng Alor said on Tuesday that if China agrees, the funds could be used to reopen one of South Sudan's key oil fields in Unity State that has been shut down since a civil war began in December 2013.

Alor also said that $700 million would be used to rebuild a road between Juba, the capital, and Wau, which saw heavy fighting last month.

South Sudan's request comes as the country has an economic crisis and is struggling to pay civil servants. The government said earlier this week that the inflation rate in the country reached 600 percent in the past year.