The Sudanese Finance Minister Ibrahim El Badawi presented the government’s efforts on economic reform and provided an update of the peace process at a meeting of the Friends of Sudan in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday.
The aim of the meeting was to see how the international community can best support Sudan’s Transitional Government in its efforts to achieve peace and promote economic recovery and development.
Present at the Friends of Sudan meeting were representatives from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the United Nations, the European Union, Japan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the government of Sudan.
The Friends of Sudan expressed clear and united support for the civilian-led government and the leadership demonstrated by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and cabinet ministers. Participants recognised the many announced and initiated reforms undertaken by the Transitional Government since assuming office five months ago.
They reiterated that continued progress is a shared responsibility of the Sovereign Council, which is composed of both civilian and military members, and the civilian-led Transitional Government.
The Friends of Sudan welcomed the progress made and the broad participation in the peace negotiations. They recognised the linkage between peace and economic progress, and emphasised that the peace negotiations should not delay the formation of the Transitional Legislative Council and the appointment of civilian governors and welcomed the government of Sudan’s recent announcement that these will be formed shortly.
The group welcomed the recent announcement of the Transitional Government of Sudan and the Sovereign Council of the intent to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court.
The participants further welcomed the commitment of the government of Sudan for "the meaningful participation of women in all stages of the peace process and in the broader transformation of the country". They also commended the Transitional Government’s continued emphasis on including youth in the transition process as well as improving the economic opportunities for youth.
The Friends of Sudan lauded steps taken by the Transitional Government to facilitate full access of humanitarian assistance to all conflict affected areas, as well as removal of barriers to humanitarian actors.
They welcomed the commitments made during a humanitarian donors’ meeting in January, including that donors should frontload their contributions as much as possible, that humanitarian agencies and donors should work in pursuit of a more effective humanitarian response, and the importance of sustaining and scaling up humanitarian assistance. The group agreed with the Transitional Government on the importance of combining short-term humanitarian assistance with long-term self-reliance and sustainable development.
The Friends of Sudan recognised the centrality of the national consultations on economic reforms, that will be held in March. In this regard, they commended the commitment of the Transitional Government to ensure broad popular ownership of the reform. The group expressed strong support to the Transitional Government’s engagement with the international financial institutions, indicating the Transitional Government’s sincere engagement to improve the economic situation and prepare for debt relief.
Multiple participants confirmed their recent increase of support to Sudan, complementing the significant efforts that are already underway. A range of participants also informed of their commitment and preparation of additional substantial financial support to be provided in line with the Transitional Government’s priorities, especially the social impact mitigation programme, being critical for sustainable economic reform.
The group agreed on the need to frontload also longer-term support to the transition and committed to support reforms.
The next meeting of the Friends of Sudan will be hosted by France in April. The countries and international organisations present renewed their commitment to take part in a donor conference by the first half of June 2020. In November last year, the Friends of Sudan agreed to finance Sudan’s 2020 budget.