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Bulk of Sudan’s debt owed to Paris Club: World Bank

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October 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Most of Sudan’s external debt is owed to members of Paris Club comprised of creditor nations, a World Bank (WB) official said.

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The issue of debt has been a thorn in the side of Sudan policymakers for decades but the burden has since grown to alarming levels as percentage of the country’s GDP.

Because of debt arreats as well as inclusion in list of states that sponsor terrorism, Sudan has been unable to tap the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for support.

Carolyn Turk, country Director for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan in told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that Sudan’s aggregate debt is now around $50-60 billion.

The official was reacting to a recent press report which quoted her as saying that Sudan’s external debt amounted to $16 billion.

"Sudan’s external debt is $50-60bn, not $15-16bn. This debt is mostly to Paris Club countries. The arrears to multilateral organizations is much smaller," she said.

The toppling of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir last April offered new hope for Sudan to end three decades of isolation and being shunned as a pariah state.

Last month, France announced it will host a conference with Sudan’s international creditors to look into debt relief as soon as the US removes Sudan from the terrorism list.

The head of Sudan’s transitional government Abdulla Hamdok expressed optimism about a speedy decision by Washington on the terrorism designation.

(ST)

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