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World Bank approves $35 m in emergency coronavirus funds for Sudan

June 26, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The World Bank approved a $35 million in emergency fund for coronavirus response operation in Sudan, said its President David Malpass on Thursday during a virtual Sudan Partnership Conference.

The World Bank logoIn April 2020, the World Bank excluded Sudan from a list of 25 countries that received some $1.9 billion triggering a call by UN Secretary-General to grant Sudan exceptional support to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We expect to finance an emergency health response to the COVID-19 in July. Combining resources from trust funds that the World Bank administers, we will provide about US$35 million in financing for a project to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19," Malpass said.

Sudan continues to be the most affected country in the Horn and East Africa by the respiratory disease. Some 9257 cases have been recorded and the death toll reached 572 dead, the highest figure in the region.

The head of the World Bank further said they would provide Sudan next August $400 million in a pre-arrears clearance grant.

"This would be provided through a special allocation to be approved by our shareholders to support the Sudan Family Support Program," he said.

He further said they will work with the Sudanese government to get to arrears clearance to unlock about $1.75 billion that could be available from the Bank for the period up to 2023.

Sudan’s external debt will reach $56 billion by end-2020. A large share of debt is interest arrears due to an accumulation of decades of interest.

He reassured they are determined to accelerate the process of clearing arrears. "Sudan is a priority for Africa and the world and the time for action and solutions is now".

(ST)