Billions in debt relief planned for Sudan | Free press

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Democracy in the heavily indebted East African country of Sudan must be given a chance. That is why donors are preparing a large financial package. Germany is also pulling in with amounts in the millions.

Paris (AP) – To support the democratic transition, international donors want to free Sudan from billions of debt.

After an aid conference in Paris on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his country would even write off its entire bilateral debt of about $ 5 billion (about $ 4.12 billion). “We are in favor of a nearly $ 5 billion cancellation.”

With Sudan, France has the highest debt share in the so-called Paris Club. In this informal body, important creditor states are looking for solutions to debt crises.

The international debt reduction process is expected to be officially launched by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the end of June. Other donors are now also being asked: “This effort must be collective,” demanded the 43-year-old. He praised the country’s democratic transition, which could serve as a model for the entire region. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk spoke of a “historic conference”.

Germany also agreed to support. Berlin wants to take over Sudan’s € 90 million payment commitments to the IMF and also waive € 390 million bilateral commitments, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

Maas recalled last year’s meeting in Sudan in Berlin – the country had returned to the international community for the first time after decades of isolation. In Berlin, aid of about $ 1.8 billion was promised – this money will directly benefit the people, Maas said. It’s about “that democracy in the country has a chance”.

Sudan was ruled harshly by President Omar al-Bashir for 30 years, until the ruler was overthrown by the military in 2019. As a result, civilians and military formed a joint transitional government, which was welcomed worldwide. However, the country is still in a deep economic crisis, exacerbated by the corona pandemic.

France also plans to grant Sudan a $ 1.5 billion bridge loan to pay off IMF backlogs, Macron said. The US had already provided a $ 1.15 billion bridge loan to allow Sudan to settle arrears with the World Bank. On Tuesday, Macron invites you to a summit on economic aid for Africa.

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