Saudi Arabia announced on Monday a grant of $20 million to Sudan to cover its financial debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The grant was ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and revealed at a conference for Sudan held in Paris on Monday.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was represented at the conference by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the event. The delegation included Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan and other officials from the finance and foreign ministries.
Prince Faisal stressed the keenness of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed in helping Sudan ease its debts. He also expressed the Kingdom’s keenness on boosting its investments in the African country to meet the aspirations of its brotherly people for more progress, prosperity and growth.
Addressing the conference, he said: “What binds us today is our joint goal of supporting the transitional period in Sudan as it heads towards a bright and prosperous future.”
He added that Saudi Arabia was among the first countries that declared their support to Sudan during its transitional period, citing its participation in the Friends of Sudan meetings. He also cited its ongoing and strenuous efforts on the bilateral level to bridge divides between all Sudanese parties.
The Kingdom believes in the importance of activating Sudan’s role on the regional scene, remarked Prince Faisal, while stressing the importance of preserving the country’s security.
The minister hailed the role played by the United States, France and United Kingdom in supporting Sudan, adding that Saudi Arabia “will continue to play its positive and influential role in funding global and regional development as it has for decades.”
IMF member countries have agreed to clear Sudan's arrears to the institution, France's president said on Monday, removing a final hurdle to the African nation getting wider relief on external debt of at least $50 billion.
French President Emmanuel Macron also kick-started the broader debt relief effort, saying his country was in favor of fully cancelling the $5 billion it is owed by Khartoum.
Sudan is emerging from decades of economic sanctions and isolation under ousted former President Omar al-Bashir.
It had built up huge arrears on its debt, but has made rapid progress towards having much of it forgiven under the IMF and World Bank's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) scheme, which would reopen access to badly needed cheap international financing.
A transitional military-civilian power-sharing government is trying to pull the country out of a deep economic crisis with inflation at over 300% and shortages of basic goods fueled by a lack of foreign currency reserves.
In order to reach the “decision point” that would unlock the HIPC process in June, Sudan recently cleared its arrears to the World Bank and the African Development Bank with bridge loans from Western states.
The remaining step was to clear Sudan's arrears to the IMF, which France confirmed it would facilitate through a $1.5 billion bridge loan, and for that loan to be covered by member state pledges.