The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors endorsed a new Country Engagement Note (CEN) for Sudan, according to press release issued on October, 8, 2020. The CEN is aimed at supporting the Government of Sudan’s efforts to reform the economy, build a more equitable social contract, and provide a better future for Sudanese people.
“To end extreme poverty and lift people up from a history of fragility and conflict, Sudan must ensure access to basic services, stable jobs, transparent and accountable institutions, and economic and social inclusion,” said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa. “The World Bank’s engagement will support the country’s development vision, focusing on macro-economic stability, job creation, and sustainable development for all Sudanese people.”
Since 2019, the government has taken bold steps to resolve long-standing internal conflicts, reverse economic distortions, renew the social contract, and re-engage with the international community. The COVID-19 crisis as well as recent floods have exacerbated an already complex situation.
This CEN focuses on helping the Government of Sudan to stabilize the economy and accelerate progress towards addressing the country’s debt challenges, including clearing arrears to the World Bank.
.Consistent with the new CEN, the Board also approved a $200 million Pre-Arrears Clearance Grant for the Sudan Family Support Program (SFSP). This is in addition to $200 million approved by Management from the Sudan Transition and Recovery Support Trust Fund (STARS), of which $170 million has been received from donors to-date for the first phase of the SFSP. The project aims to deliver cash transfers and improve safety net systems for Sudanese families affected by expected economic reforms and other short-term shocks. SFSP is led and implemented by the Sudanese government. The Program is being implemented by the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Labor and Social Development, and Interior, along with other relevant agencies.
The pilot phase is being launched in October 2020, and the program will be gradually scaled up over the next few months, starting with the states of Khartoum, Red Sea, South Darfur and Kassala. Critical financing for the first phase of the SFSP has been provided by generous contributions from the European Union, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. It is anticipated that additional donor contributions will be received to cover the balance needed to fully fund the first phase.