UPDATE 1-IMF Approves Sudan’s Debt Relief Financing Plan
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CAIRO, May 10 (Reuters) – The board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday approved a financing plan to help mobilize the resources needed for the fund to cover its share of debt relief in Sudan .
The financing plan relies on a broad effort from IMF member countries, including cash grants and contributions from the fund’s internal resources, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.
“This marks a crucial step in helping Sudan advance the process of normalizing relations with the international community and moving towards debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. “, she added.
The IMF announced on Friday that it had reached a staff-level agreement with Sudan on the completion of the second and final review under its staff-controlled program, in a step towards easing the burden. debt.
A strong performance under the IMF’s one-year economic reform program is a condition for Sudan to reach the “decision point” for debt relief under the HIPC process. Sudan is expected to reach this point in June.
In April, a French diplomat said France was ready to provide a bridging loan of up to $ 1.5 billion to clear Sudan’s arrears to the IMF and bring the country closer to major relief. part of its debt.
Sudan, whose transitional civilian government is grappling with a crippling economic crisis, is seeking at least $ 50 billion in external debt relief to international financial institutions, official bilateral creditors and commercial creditors.
The African nation has already secured bridging loans from the United States and Britain to clear arrears to the World Bank and the African Development Bank. About 85% of the debt is past due.
Sudan is emerging from decades of economic sanctions and isolation under former President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by the military after months of popular protests in April 2019.
(Reporting by Nadine Awadalla and Nafisa Eltahir; written by Nayera Abdallah and Mahmoud Mourad; edited by Leslie Adler and Richard Chang)