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Sudan inches closer to clearing IMF arrears

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By: Wasil Ali

May 10, 2021 (WASHINGTON) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced today that it has approved a financing package for Sudan which would enable it to clear IMF arrears.

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IMF headquarters in Washington, D.C (AP)

“Today, the IMF Executive Board approved a financing plan that will help mobilize the resources needed for the IMF to cover its share of debt relief to Sudan. This financing plan relies on a broad effort of IMF member countries, including cash grants and contributions derived from IMF internal resources" said the IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva.

“This marks a critical step in helping Sudan advance the process of normalizing relations with the international community and make progress towards achieving debt relief under the Heavily-Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative," she added.

Georgieva stressed that debt relief for Sudan is an IMF priority in order to reach what is known as the "decision point".

"I am encouraged by the support from our members and by their recognition of the progress Sudan has made on economic reforms under the IMF Staff-Monitored Program (SMP)" she said.

"The HIPC Decision Point, at which time debt relief will begin to be delivered, would be reached as soon as our members have provided the necessary financial commitments, assuming the authorities continue their strong reform efforts and meet the other requirements stipulated under the HIPC process".

Last week the Sudanese finance minister Gibril Ibrahim announced that his country completed second 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 tweeted.

Sudan will seek to convince international creditors at a conference in Paris next week to cancel as much as it can from $50 billion in debt, mostly with bilateral creditors.

France is hosting the conference to promote investment and debt relief for Sudan.

Sudan has successfully cleared its arrears at the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfdB) with bridge loans supported by the US, UK and Sweden.

A French diplomat said last month that his government could provide funding for Sudan to also clear arrears with the IMF and proceed with HIPC.

(ST)

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