US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin signed on Wednesday an agreement to provide Sudan with a $1 billion bridge loan to clear the $1.2 billion it owes the World Bank in arrears, after Khartoum signed the “Abraham Accords” to normalize ties with Israel.
“The Secretary also discussed the economic opportunities created through Sudan’s opening of relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords,” a readout of Mnuchin’s trip to Sudan said.
The bridge loan will be given to Sudan when “the agreed conditions with the Bank and under the MOU are met.”
Readout from my stop in Khartoum Sudan. pic.twitter.com/lks75rPnzI— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) January 6, 2021
Mnuchin had said in mid-December when the US removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism: “The United States Treasury looks forward to working with bipartisan members of Congress, and with Sudan to help clear its arrears at the International Financial Institutions and to advance Sudan’s efforts to secure debt relief in 2021.”
Sudan's finance ministry said on December 16 that the World Bank bridge loan would allow it to access $1.5 billion annually in funds from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), the lender's financing arm for the world's poorest countries.
Sudan has more than $60 billion in foreign debt.
Earlier in the day, the US embassy in Khartoum said on Twitter: “We congratulate the civilian-led transitional government on its signature today of the Abraham Accords Declaration, which will help further Sudan on its transformative path to stability, security, and economic opportunity.”
"The agreement allows Sudan, Israel and other signers of the Abraham Accords to build mutual trust and increase cooperation in the region."
Sudan is one of four Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel, along with the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco.