Sudan: No Relief for Ailing Sudanese Pound

Khartoum — The downward slide of the Sudanese Pound (SDG) against major international currencies is showing no signs of recovery, in spite of pledges and efforts by the transitional government and Prime Minister Hamdok.

The forex continued to rise on the streets of Khartoum on Wednesday, with the Dollar trading markets at SDG 80.60 compared to SDG 78 on Sunday. A Euro now costs SDG88.

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said the government is discussing many ideas, including cash transfers to the poor, as well as planned subsidies for food and other basic commodities.

He told Reuters news agency that cash transfers are one of the ideas discussed to compensate for the reduction of subsidies for food and other materials.

He did not give further details but said the plan included support for medicines, medical services and education.

Hamdok said in August that Sudan needs $ 8 billion in foreign aid over the next two years to cover imports and help rebuild the economy.

Rehabilitation of Sudan economy

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, The Sudanese Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Ibrahim El Badawi, announced that an agreement has been reached with the Friends of Sudan about debt relief and the country's 2020 budget.

Upon his return from the USA on Thursday, the Minister told reporters at Khartoum International Airport, that his visit to Washington may be considered a major achievement for the country.

He said that international monetary institutions agreed on a roadmap for the rehabilitation of Sudan, to begin with an economic programme to stabilise the macro-economy.

The 2020 National Budget will be financed by the Friends of Sudan, El Badawi reported. He explained that the budget will be based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, "with a focus on education, health, and social services".

According to the agreement, the budget will be based on macroeconomic stabilisation, reliance on available resources, and strengthening of monetary and exchange rate policies.

In addition, Khartoum will not have to pay any of its huge debts next year, but will engage in negotiations on debt relief with the World Bank and the African Development Bank scheduled to begin March. The negotiations will be based on Sudan's sustainable development programme.

El Badawi further announced that Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok will soon travel to the USA for meetings with Congress members, government officials, and the President of the World Bank.

He further said that the next meeting of the Friends of Sudan will be held in Khartoum in the first week of December. A donor conference is planned to take place in April next year.

European Union

On Wednesday last week, PM Hamdok and Foreign Minister Asmaa Abdallah received a high-level delegation from the EU in Khartoum. The delegation led by the Deputy Secretary General of the European Union External Action Service, Jean-Christophe Belliard, the EU Director General for International Cooperation and Development, Koen Doens, and the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, pledged a total of €466 million in support grants to assist the government with the transition in the country.

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