World Bank promises $2 billion for development projects in Sudan
The World Bank’s Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Hafez Ghanem, visited Khartoum yesterday and met with Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Ghanem announced a $2 billion fund from the World Bank to finance infrastructure projects in Sudan and to support displaced people.
Sudanese Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Jibril Ibrahim was also present at the meeting, as was a wider delegation of the World Bank.
Ghanem said that he was pleased to meet Hamdok following the great success of the Paris Conference earlier this month, which he described as “very important”.
The conference was organised to support the democratic transition in Sudan, contribute to Sudan’s debt relief, and encourage international investments and partnerships.
The vice-president stressed that the international community appreciates Sudan’s efforts to improve its economy, fight poverty, and pursue all the necessary economic reforms, according to a press statement in the Sudan News Agency (SUNA).
He explained that the meeting focused on the work of the World Bank in Sudan and on the importance of the infrastructure and investment projects and of education, healthcare, and other government projects.
Ghanem also announced that the World Bank has allocated US$2 billion to Sudan to finance big infrastructure projects and other projects to help displaced people over a period of 12 months.
The fund was made possible because Sudan settled all its arrears with the World Bank two months ago. The move to clear its overdue payments gave Sudan access to international financing for the first time in nearly thirty years.
“By clearing its arrears, Sudan has also completed a key step for receiving comprehensive external debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative”, the World Bank wrote at the time.
Last week, Sudan announced that it had finally cleared all its debt arrears to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the African Development Bank (ADB), further paving the way for Sudan’s re-entry into the international financial community and for Sudan’s economic recovery.
In a statement following the session of the Paris Conference dealing with Sudan’s international debt (currently estimated at around $80 billion), Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said that this step opened the door wide for the "deserved return of Sudan to the international community".
Meeting El Burhan
Ghanem also met with the President of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, at the Republican Palace in Khartoum yesterday, again in the presence of the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
The meeting discussed the prospects for the partnership between Sudan and the World Bank and the various projects that the bank aims to implement in Sudan in the fields of infrastructure, healthcare, and education.
Ghanem explained that the World Bank has supported Sudan’s return to the international table and financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He expressed the bank’s appreciation of the economic reforms implemented by Sudan and said that the World Bank has confidence in Sudan’s development plans.
He further expressed his happiness with the partnership between Sudan and the World Ban and promised that the bank will remain a strong partner to Sudan.
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