The United Kingdom will provide a £148m bridging loan to help Sudan clear its arrears with the African Development Bank, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Raab said that when he visited Sudan in January, he had announced the UK’s intent to support Sudan’s path to debt relief "as Prime Minister Hamdok delivers much needed reforms in support of the country’s economic revival and transition to democracy".
"Today the UK has delivered on that commitment by providing a £148m bridging loan that has enabled Sudan to clear its arrears at the African Development Bank" Raab said in his statement.
He expressed his gratitude to Sudan's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Jibril Ibrahim and the Regional Director of the African Development Bank Nnenna Nwabufo and their teams "for their hard work to make this happen".
In early May, Sudan's Ministry of Finance signed two deals with the African Development Bank: one bridge loan amounting to $425 million dollars to pay debt arrears to the African Development Bank and one grant of $207 million to support economic and financial reforms in Sudan.
Nnenna Nwabufo said that the deals will enable the African Development Bank to do more for the economy in Sudan, especially as the Sudanese government has begun implementing economic reform measures with the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Earlier this week, the IMF Executive Board approved a financing plan yesterday that "will help mobilise the resources needed for the IMF to cover its share of debt relief to Sudan". A "critical step" according to IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva.
In March, Sudan cleared its arrears to the International Development Association (IDA)*, enabling its full re-engagement with the World Bank after nearly three decades, and paving the way for the country to access nearly $2 billion in grants for poverty reduction and sustainable economic recovery.
At the moment, Sudan is preparing for a conference in Paris this May 17. The conference aims to contribute to debt relief for Sudan and to encourage public and private international investments in Sudan after its removal from the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism (SST).
The Paris Conference further seeks to establish investment partnerships between Sudan and the international community, especially in the fields of agriculture, energy, mining, communications, and infrastructure.