Details of a new $500 Million USD grant for irrigation and water network development have been announced by the Government of Sudan and the World Bank.
The grant is part of a larger package of loans and grants totalling $2 Billion USD for infrastructure development and support for displaced populations.
The World Bank’s Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Hafez Ghanem, met with Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok made the joint announcement in Khartoum on June 2.
In March, the World Bank announced that “Republic of Sudan has cleared its arrears to the International Development Association (IDA), enabling its full re-engagement with the World Bank Group after nearly three decades, and paving the way for the country to access nearly $2 billion in IDA grants for poverty reduction and sustainable economic recovery. 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.
“This is a breakthrough at a time when Sudan needs the world’s help to support its development progress. The steps taken so far, including arrears clearance and exchange rate unification, will put Sudan on the path to substantial debt relief, economic revival, and inclusive development,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “I am grateful to the United States Government for its generosity in facilitating the arrears clearance process. I congratulate Sudan’s government for its commitment to reform, and look forward to opportunities for greater World Bank Group support to the Sudanese people.”
This new financing marks the successful conclusion of an international conference in Paris in mid-May that presented the “new” Sudan to international participants. Key issues discussed included the status of approximately $80 Billion USD in debt, current economic reforms and banking modernisation, and potential investment opportunities throughout the country in infrastructure, agriculture, energy and mining, and information and communication technology.
Following the conference 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). This conclusion will pave the the way for the country’s re-entry into the international financial community and for Sudan’s economic recovery. The government is especially keen to obtain financing for projects that will deliver successful transition to achieve sustainable democracy.
Photo Credit: World Bank