March 9, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese minister of Finance Badr al-Deen Mahmoud announced that the government has achieved a 95% match of its external debt records with that of creditors which along with implementing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reform program for debt relief would support Sudan’s strategy to combat poverty.
- Sudanese finance minister Badr al-Deen Mahmoud (SUNA)
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 January, the British Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said that resolving Sudan’s debts is contingent upon Khartoum approving poverty reduction strategy.
Mahmoud, who chaired a meeting at his ministry of the committee tasked with drafting a strategy to combat poverty, said the panel will review all documents and reports related to social welfare system.
The minister stressed that the economic and financial policies of the government are working to create a "pro-poor budgets" and noted the coordination committee they have in place with the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security.
He praised the government bodies that are working in accordance with the interim strategy to combat poverty which was launched through development partners, conducting the family budget and poverty survey for 2014, absorbing the social aspects and the provision of basic services of health and education across the states .
He called for a focus on good preparation of a detailed report that includes all types of social support included in the general budget along with social work offered by the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security.
"What is required is relief for strategic interim debt that has been in place for a period of at least a year , because the economic sanctions constitute a significant burden on the people by increasing poverty," Mahmoud said.
President Omer Hassan al-Bashir has formed a ministerial committee to prepare a strategy to combat poverty headed by the Minister of Finance and Minister of Welfare and Social Security as alternate chairman with membership of other relevant agencies. He also established a steering committee headed by Undersecretary of finance Magdi Hassan Yassin.
The Minister of Welfare and Social Security Masha’ir al-Dawlab said that the anti-poverty strategy has to be pay attention to the strategic planning process to achieve their goals especially in terms of poverty .
She stressed the importance of accommodating the study by the African Development Bank (ADB) in the role of social security mechanisms in the fight against poverty .