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Sudan completes second IMF review, a step towards debt relief

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A trader drinking a tea in a bazar, Omdurman Sudan on 25 Dec 2017 (photo Franco Cericola)May 7, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government and an IMF team reached a staff-level agreement on the completion of the second review under the current Staff-Monitored Program (SMP).

On 8 March, the IMF approved the first review of a 12-month SMP, which supports reforms by the Sudanese government to stabilize the economy, enhance social protection, boost the private sector, and strengthening governance.

Endorsed by the IMF in September 2020, Sudan’s SMP, which will establish a strong track record of policy and reform implementation, is a key requirement for eventual debt relief expected in June this year.

The completion of the second review of SMP was announced by the Sudanese Finance Minister Gerbil Ibrahim in a tweet on Friday.

"Sudan has successfully passed the 2nd IMF Staff Monitored Program (SMP) review. This paves the way for Sudan to reach HIPC Decision Point which will hopefully result in substantial debt relief for Sudan as well as new credit lines," he said.

For its part, Carol Baker, IMF mission chief for Sudan, commended the progress made by the Sudanese authorities in the implementation of key reforms under the SMP to bring the debt relief closer.

"Despite very challenging conditions which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sudanese authorities continue to make sustained progress on their ambitious reform agenda," Baker told Reuters.

Sudan seeks relief on at least $50 billion in external debt to international financial institutions.

Sudan foreign debt is estimated at $60 billion.

(ST)

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