At a time when the Sudanese government is taking steady steps towards implementing an economic reform plan, international institutions are moving to exempt Sudan from its debts.
The move this time came from the United States and the International Monetary Fund, after praising Sudan’s economic reforms, which have begun to bear fruit.
On Monday, Washington and the International Monetary Fund called on more than 20 countries to fully support the process of debt relief for Sudan, stressing that the country has made progress in implementing reforms at the macroeconomic level.
On Monday morning, US Treasury Deputy Andy Boucol organized a meeting in virtual space with representatives from more than 20 countries and the Paris Club, with the US special envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth.
The Treasury said in a statement that the aim was “to advance Sudan’s efforts to obtain debt relief under the initiative for the benefit of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries.”
At the end of last March, the United States provided aid worth 1.15 billion dollars to Sudan to help it pay off its debts to the World Bank.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank estimated Sudan’s debt at $ 49.8 billion at the end of 2019. The two institutions said that Sudan was eligible to receive aid under the initiative for the benefit of heavily indebted poor countries that allow debt relief for poor countries.
A country can only be fully forgiven of debt after it fulfills its obligations to implement reforms.
During Monday’s roundtable meeting, Boukol highlighted the progress the Sudanese transitional government has made in implementing macroeconomic reforms. But he also stressed “remaining steps” to obtain total debt forgiveness.
He called on the participants to “fully support Sudan in its efforts to reach the first stage of the initiative process for the benefit of the heavily indebted poor countries by mid-2021, and urged all IMF members to support the rapid settlement of arrears owed to the International Monetary Fund by Sudan.”
For his part, the second official in the International Monetary Fund, Geoffrey Okamoto, confirmed that the fund “found the measures taken by the Sudanese in recent months to achieve the goals encouraging.”
According to Agence France-Presse, he told reporters during a conference call, “With regard to the settlement of the arrears … I clearly called with Kristalina Georgieva … including during the multilateral meetings of the G7 and G20, for additional resources to be provided to Sudan.”
He said he was “optimistic” about providing support to help Sudan “cross the finish line”.
“We have more work ahead of us in terms of mobilizing the necessary financial resources,” he said, stressing that the International Monetary Fund would work “vigorously” to obtain them.