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IMF delegation in Sudan for talks on debt relief

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February 6, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Central Bank Governor Abdel-Rahman Hassan Abdel-Rahman discussed on Thursday with a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the implementation of a program prepared by the IMF at the request of Khartoum as one of the requirements needed for considering debt relief.

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Sudan Central Bank governor Abdel-Rahman Hassan (Ashorooq TV)

According to a bank circular, the two sides discussed Sudan’s economic policies, central bank policies and the 2014 program along with Sudan’s foreign debt situation and the prospects for relief.

The governor urged the IMF to assist in debt relief noting that countries in similar situation benefited from such initiatives.

The meeting also discussed technical support provided by the IMF and its contribution to the qualitative performance of the Central Bank with the governor caling for more support to improve it further.

Sudan’s external debt is estimated to have grown by 27% since 2008 from $32.6 billion to $41.4 billion in 2011.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report released last November that Sudan’s debt will hit $44.7 billion in 2013 which amounts to 85% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Last year, the deputy director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the IMF, Edward Gemayel, warned that it will be near impossible for Sudan to secure debt relief even if it satisfied technical and economic requirements.

Gemayel, who led a delegation to Khartoum, went on to say that Sudan won’t be able to benefit from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative despite fulfilling its conditions unless it succeeds in convincing all 55 members of the Paris Club creditor nations whom he said have the power to slash 67% of conventional debt owed by Sudan

Last month, the British Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said that resolving Sudan’s debts is contingent upon Khartoum approving poverty reduction strategy which means the ball is in its court.

(ST)

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