IMF working ‘very intensively’ with Sudan for debt relief

The move comes after Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was dropped after nearly 30 years.

The 'state sponsor of terrorism' designation had limited Sudan's ability to receive aid [File: Fredrik Lerneryd/Bloomberg]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working “very intensively” with Sudan to build the conditions for broad debt relief and will assess progress on a staff-monitored programme in March, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

She told reporters during an online news conference that she was encouraged by strong support from the United States, the United Kingdom 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.”

The US, the IMF’s largest shareholder, last month reinstated Sudan’s sovereign immunity and the US Congress passed legislation formalising the move, following the ending of Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The state sponsor of terrorism designation, which was in place for almost 30 years, had weighed on Sudan’s economy and limited its ability to receive aid.

Under the US legislation, Washington will be authorising $111m to pay off part of Sudan’s bilateral debt, and $120m to help pay off its debt to the IMF while making another $700m available until September 2022, which will allow it to clear $1bn in arrears to the World Bank.

Source: Reuters