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Khartoum, IMF discuss launch of Staff-Monitored Program for Sudan

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June 8, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan and the International Monetary Fund have launched discussions on a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) agreement to monitor Khartoum’s economic plans and eventually to create opportunities for international financing and investment.

Sudanese Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Badawi speaks to AFP during an interview in Washington, DC, on October 22, 2019. (AFP)The SMP does not entail to financial assistance but it is a necessary step to open the door for negotiations on debt relief and budget support programmes.

The two sides held an SMP in 2014 but the IMF advised to reach an agreement on Sudan’s removal from the terror list first, besides some other measures particularly the large arrears which block financing from the Fund.

In a statement released in Khartoum, the ministry of economy said it began talks with the IMF following its request for a new SMP to help formulate and implement comprehensive reform after regime change in Sudan and the expected removal from the U.S. blacklist by the State Department.

"The negotiations are central to Sudan’s efforts to take control of its international obligations and are the first steps in clearing its financial arrears and achieving debt relief and access to grants from the International Development Association (IDA) program,". said the statement.

Sudan’s finance minister Ibrahim al-Badawi says he wants to carry out macroeconomic reforms to establish favourable conditions for sustainable growth in the country and to attract international investors as well as securing financing for major infrastructural and development projects.

Ibrahim al-Badawi, Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said that reengaging with the IMF Fund will allow Sudan to reclaim its rightful place.

“We have a long road ahead of us to undo the damage to our economy. However, this engagement is an initial step to open the door for direct budget support, which is needed to finance the major development projects related to peacebuilding, production, and job creation for Sudan’s youth," al-Badwi further said.

The negotiations through teleconference meetings are led by the Finance Ministry and include senior representatives from the Central Bank of Sudan, the Central Bureau of Statistics, as well as other relevant government officials.

(ST)

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