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101 countries pledge to clear Sudan debt: IMF

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Kristalina Georgieva (Reuters photo)June 23, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) obtained enough pledges from its members to provide comprehensive debt relief to Sudan, said the financial institution on Tuesday.

Last May, the IMF Executive Board approved a financing plan to mobilize needed resources to cover its share of debt relief to Sudan.

This plan relies on IMF member countries, including cash grants and contributions derived from IMF internal resources.

"101 IMF member countries have pledged to provide more than SDR 992 million (US$1,415.7 million) in financing," said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

"This will enable the clearance of Sudan’s arrears to the IMF, allow for the provision of new Fund financing, and facilitate the delivery of the HIPC Initiative and other debt-relief to Sudan," added Georgieve.

Sudan’s debt has reached over $60 billion, according to the Sudanese officials. The IMF estimates it totalled $50 billion in 2019.

Over 85% of Sudan’s debt is arrears, unpaid interest and penalties.

The severe economic reforms and the economic hardships the country is experiencing pose a risk to Sudan’s stability, particularly as the Hamdok government did not succeed to implement the safety net programme that was supposed to support vulnerable families.

“This achievement marks a clear recognition by our membership of the extraordinary efforts of the people and the government of Sudan to advance economic and financial reforms despite a challenging environment," said the IMF Managing Director.

She pointed out that these pledges will also help unlock significant amounts of development assistance and create the conditions for higher and more inclusive growth in Sudan.
Also, she hailed efforts by many low-income countries for mobilizing funding for Sudan.

"Sudan is now one step closer to reaching the HIPC Decision Point, a landmark which will significantly reduce Sudan’s total debt and allow access to fresh funds and new investments critical to boost growth and fight poverty,” concluded Georgieva.

(ST)

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