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World Bank suspends aid to Sudan after coup

October 28 - 2021 WASHINGTON
World Bank Group President David Malpass (Photo: Franz Mahr / World Bank Group).
World Bank Group President David Malpass (Photo: Franz Mahr / World Bank Group).

The World Bank has announced the suspension of all aid to Sudan, and has halted decisions on any new operations in the country after the military seized power in a coup in Khartoum on Monday.

In a statement on Wednesday, World Bank President David Malpass that the effective Monday, the World Bank Group has suspended the disbursement of all its operations in Sudan and stopped deciding on any new operations while it closely monitors and assesses the situation.

“I am deeply concerned about the recent events in Sudan, and I fear the significant impact this could have on the country’s social and economic recovery and development,” Malpass added.

This is a further move by the World Bank is a further step curtailing much needed financial support to Sudan following the coup.

Malpass, paid a two-day visit to Sudan in September, when he acknowledged “the remarkable resilience of the Sudanese people”.

Sudan reached the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) decision point in June 2021, which will enable Sudan to clear nearly all of its estimated $50 billion in external debt. The World Bank also pledged to support Sudan with $2 billion in grants for poverty reduction.

On Tuesday, the European Union said: “This attempt to undermine Sudan’s transition towards democracy is unacceptable. If the situation is not reversed immediately, there will be serious consequences for EU’s engagement, including its financial support.”

In March, the EU agreed with the World Bank on the second phase of the EU contribution to the Samarat family support programme, one of the important components of the transitional government’s reform programme, which aims to ease the economic impacts of these reforms on the Sudanese and the most vulnerable families, by extending an additional €70 million. The first phase which amounted to €93 million, was announced on September 27 last year.

The contributions of other member states of the European Union brings the total contribution of the European Group to the programme to €310 million.

Also on Tuesday, the USA suspended all aid to Sudan. US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that “the United States is pausing assistance from the $700 million in emergency assistance appropriations of Economic Support Funds for Sudan. Those funds were intended to support the country’s democratic transition as we evaluate the next step for Sudan programming.”

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