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Sudan extends direct cash support to rural areas

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58-year-old Omar, a farmer from Tadamon Locality in Blue Nile state, is a beneficiary of an agriculture project funded by the European Union. (World Vision photo)July 22, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok announced a "slight amendment" to the 2020 budget, whereby his government support was directed to production areas in the countryside, in addition to cash transfers for the poor and vulnerable families set by the former finance minister.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Hamdok said that his government, as part of an amendment to the 2020 budget to ease coronavirus impact on the national economy, has expanded the scope of support to poor families to include production support and benefit farmers and vulnerable families in the countryside.

"This amendment is very important because it allows the gradual exit from cash support to production support and helps increase national income as well as addressing other issues related to the trade balance and the export."

He stated that part of the support directed to poor families will be financed by the international support that recently granted to Sudan at the donors’ conference in Berlin recently, and will start from next August.

Ibrahim Al-Badawi had set up a cash transfers program to help poor families overcome the removal of subsidies for some basic commodities including fuel.

Hamdok in his speech on Wednesday stressed that the subsidy will be cancelled specifically from fuel only, while the government will continue to support the price of basic commodities.

For her part, the acting Minister of Finance, Hiba Mohamed, revealed that the budget amendments come after the decline in public revenues by 40% in the wake of the pandemic.

Mohamed told reporters in Khartoum that the decision to amend the budget was made in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adopt policies that reduce its negative impact on the economy.

(ST)

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