Middle East and Central Asia > Sudan

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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
A 9-month Staff Monitored Program (SMP) combined with a disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) of 50 percent of quota (about US$174 million) was approved on March 30, 2021 to address BOP challenges and build a track record towards an upper credit tranche financial arrangement. This followed a disbursement under the RCF in November 2020 of 15 percent of quota (about US$52 million), which was the first-ever financial disbursement from the Fund to South Sudan. Progress has continued in implementing the revitalized peace agreement of 2018: following the formation of a unity government in February 2020 and the appointment of state governors in June 2020, the national parliament was sworn into office in August 2021. The humanitarian situation remains dire, with about 60 percent of the population facing high levels of acute food insecurity.
International Monetary Fund
This paper proposes a package of policy reforms and a funding strategy to ensure that the Fund has the capacity to respond flexibly to LICs’ needs during the pandemic and recovery. The key policy reforms proposed include: • raising the normal annual/cumulative limits on access to PRGT resources to 145/435 percent of quota, the same thresholds for normal access in the GRA; • eliminating the hard limits on exceptional access (EA) to PRGT resources for the poorest LICs, enabling them to obtain all financing on concessional terms if the EA criteria are met; • changes to the framework for blending concessional and non-concessional resources to make it more robust and less complex; • stronger safeguards to address concerns regarding debt sustainability and capacity to repay the Fund; and • retaining zero interest rates on PRGT loans, consistent with the established rules for setting these interest rates.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Sudan, with the support of the international community, is implementing an ambitious reform program to address major macroeconomic imbalances and support sustainable, inclusive growth. A new transitional government was established in the wake of the 2019 revolution with the mandate to carry out sweeping reforms to reverse decades of economic and social decline. The government is pursuing a transformational reform agenda focused on: (i) achieving internal peace based on inclusion, regional equity, and justice; (ii) stabilizing the economy and correcting large macroeconomic imbalances; (iii) providing a foundation for future rapid growth, development, and poverty reduction; and (iv) improving governance and transparency.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Since the 2019 popular revolution, Sudan’s transitional government has taken difficult steps to right decades of economic mismanagement. The challenges facing the authorities remain significant, but they have fulfilled the necessary conditions to reach the HIPC Decision Point (DP). This is an historic achievement and Sudan is set to clear its arrears and normalize relations with the IMF and other international financial institutions. This will unlock Sudan’s access to new financial resources to fund much needed development and social spending.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
South Sudan is a very fragile post-conflict country. After five years of civil conflict, the warring parties came to an agreement for power-sharing in September 2018 and formed a unity government in February 2020. However, peace remains fragile in the face of difficult humanitarian and economic conditions. Already very high levels of poverty and food insecurity have been exacerbated by severe flooding in recent months. The floods (the worst in 60 years) have killed livestock, destroyed food stocks, and damaged crops ahead of the main harvest season. South Sudan’s economy has been hit hard by lower international oil prices following the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Sudan, with the support of the international community, is seeking to implement an ambitious reform program to address major macroeconomic imbalances and support sustainable, inclusive growth. A new transitional government was established in the wake of the 2019 revolution with the mandate to carry out sweeping reforms to reverse decades of economic and social decline. The government is pursuing a transformational reform agenda focused on: (i) achieving internal peace based on inclusion, regional equity, and justice; (ii) stabilizing the economy and correcting the large macroeconomic imbalances; and (iii) providing a foundation for future rapid growth, development, and poverty reduction. The government has achieved important milestones, most prominently a peace agreement with almost all internal armed opposition groups in October 2020 to end 17 years of conflict. It has also agreed to ambitious reforms and policy adjustments in the context of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Monitored Program (SMP) that meets the Upper Credit Tranche (UCT) conditionality standard and an International Development Association (IDA) Development Policy Financing (DPF) operation. Furthermore, on December 14, 2020, Sudan was officially removed from the United States State Sponsors of Terrorism List (SSTL), ending almost three decades of international isolation. While positive changes are underway, political contestation over power sharing arrangements remains acute. It is critical for Sudan to take advantage of a still favourable political economy to tackle its macroeconomic imbalances and put itself on a sustainable development trajectory.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
After five years of civil conflict, the warring parties came to a peace agreement in September 2018. Until the COVID-19 crisis broke out, improved political stability and an uptick in international oil prices led to significant progress, with a rebound in economic growth, a decline in inflation, and a stabilization of the exchange rate. The COVID-19 pandemic is severely disrupting South Sudan’s economy, leading to a sharp decline in projected growth (-3.6 percent in FY20/21, about 10 percentage points below the pre-pandemic baseline) and a contraction of oil export proceeds—the main source of exports and fiscal revenue—which has given rise to urgent balance of payments needs and opened a large fiscal financing gap.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The transitional government has requested a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) to help address major macro imbalances, lay the groundwork for inclusive growth, and establish a track record of sound policies that is a requirement for eventual HIPC debt relief. Major challenges lie ahead. Economic contraction since 2018 is set to intensify sharply in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiscal and external imbalances are large, inflation is high and rising, the currency is overvalued, and competitiveness is weak. The humanitarian situation is dire with large numbers of internally displaced people and refugees. Despite the desperate situation, Sudan cannot access Fund financial assistance on account of (i) arrears to the Fund, (ii) arrears to other IFIs and other creditors, and (iii) unsustainably large external debt. Sudan remains on the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list (SSTL), which effectively hinders progress toward HIPC debt relief. While there is broad agreement between the authorities and staff about the key reform priorities, public tolerance for painful reforms is fragile given prolonged economic hardship. Notably, donor financial assistance has been well short of the amounts needed to facilitate gradual orderly adjustment. Hence, risks to the SMP are high.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Sudan discusses that regime change has created a window of opportunity for fundamental reforms to address major macro imbalances and lay the groundwork for inclusive growth. The economy is shrinking, fiscal and external imbalances are large, inflation is high, the currency is overvalued, and competitiveness is weak. The humanitarian situation is dire with large numbers of internally displaced people and refugees. US sanctions on trade and financial flows were revoked in October 2017, but Sudan remains on the state sponsors of terrorism list, which effectively discourages external investment and blocks progress toward both heavily indebted poor countries debt relief and the clearance of large arrears to the IMF. In this context, staff engagement has intensified to render the necessary policy and technical assistance to help the authorities seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity for reforms. There is broad agreement between the authorities and the IMF staff about the key reform priorities, however, the authorities have yet to put together a fully coherent and viable plan that enjoys broad public support and can plausibly attract adequate donor financing.