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Sudan Gives Final Approval to 2021 Budget

Sudan Gives Final Approval to 2021 Budget

Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 - 18:15
People shop at a street market in the Sudanese capital's twin city of Omdurman, July 8, 2020. (AFP)

A joint meeting of Sudan’s ruling council and cabinet gave final approval to the country’s 2021 budget on Tuesday, a finance ministry statement said.

The budget is the first to be passed since the removal of Sudan from the US state sponsors of terrorism list and a peace deal involving some armed groups last year.

The designation, which was in place for almost three decades, had weighed on Sudan’s economy and limited its ability to receive aid. The US Congress passed legislation formalizing the move.

Under the legislation, Washington will be authorizing $111 million to pay off part of Sudan’s bilateral debt, and $120 to help pay off its debt to the International Monetary Fund while making another $700 million available until September 2022, which will allow it to clear $1 billion in arrears to the World Bank.

On Monday, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the organization is working “very intensively” with Sudan to build the preconditions for broad debt relief, and will assess progress on a staff-monitored program in March.

She told reporters during an online news conference that she was encouraged by strong support from the United States, Britain and other member countries for providing debt relief to Sudan under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and by the determination of the Sudanese authorities.

“We do hope as swiftly as possible to present to the membership a strong case on Sudan for HIPC so that country can reintegrate with the international community,” Georgieva said. “I expect that in March we will have more to tell you.”

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