January 19, 2021
Signage hangs at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in Washington, D.C. PHOTO BY ANDREW HARRER /BLOOMBERG
By Andrea Shalal | REUTERS
WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund is working “very intensively” with Sudan to build the preconditions for broad debt relief, and will assess progress on a staff-monitored program in March, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Monday.
She told reporters during an online news conference that she was encouraged by strong support from the United States, Britain and other member countries for providing debt relief to Sudan under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and by the determination of the Sudanese authorities.
“We do hope as swiftly as possible to present to the membership a strong case on Sudan for HIPC so that country can reintegrate with the international community,” Georgieva said. “I expect that in March we will have more to tell you.”
The United States, the IMF’s largest shareholder, last month reinstated Sudan’s sovereign immunity and the U.S. Congress passed legislation formalizing the move, following the ending of Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The state sponsor of terrorism designation, which was in place for almost three decades, had weighed on Sudan’s economy and limited its ability to receive aid.
Under the U.S. legislation, Washington will be authorizing $111 million to pay off part of Sudan’s bilateral debt, and $120 to help pay off its debt to the IMF while making another $700 million available until September 2022, which will allow it to clear $1 billion in arrears to the World Bank.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Editing by Mark Heinrich and Nick Zieminski