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Saudi Arabia welcomes World Bank, IMF debt relief for Sudan under HIPC initiative

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Saudi Arabia has welcomed the decision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) to ease Sudan’s debt burden, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

The debt relief for Sudan will be provided under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative through which a range of structural reforms will be implemented to restore macroeconomic stability in the conflict-weary country.

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Last week, the IMF decided that the country reached the decision point to qualify for the HIPC initiative, Sudan’s finance minister was quoted as saying by Reuters. The decision meant that the country, which is more than $50 billion in debt, would begin to receive relief.

Sudanese protesters take part in a demonstration in the capital Khartoum on June 30, 2021, urging the government to step down over delayed justice and recent harsh economic reforms. (AFP)
Sudanese protesters take part in a demonstration in the capital Khartoum on June 30, 2021, urging the government to step down over delayed justice and recent harsh economic reforms. (AFP)

Sudan’s economic crisis has been deemed “the largest case in absolute terms” by an IMF official told Reuters last month.

Civil unrest and a lack of natural resources have contributed to the overall situation in Sudan, with food becoming scarcer and poverty increasing by the day.

“This marks a profound and historical moment in Sudan’s long journey towards re-engagement and normalization of relations with the international financial institutions after nearly three decades of global financial isolation,” SPA quotes Saudi finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan as saying.

“We have come a long way since the Friends of Sudan Conference that Saudi Arabia hosted in August 2020 to mobilize support for Sudan. And, Saudi Arabia will continue to be supportive to Sudan’s efforts to revive and grow its economy.”

During the Kingdom’s participation in the International Conference on Sudan in Paris in May 2021, Saudi Arabia provided Sudan with a $20 million grant to cover the financing gap of the country’s debt with the IMF and announced that it would transfer its full share of the emergency and deferred charges accounts held at the IMF to Sudan for their debt relief.

Read more:

Sudan crosses last hurdle towards debt relief, reaches IMF HIPC point: Official

Saudi King Salman directs support for Sudan to deal with the IMF debt burden

IMF announces financing plan aimed at Sudan debt relief