A High-Level Sudan Partnership Conference took place on Thursday gathering some 50 countries and international organizations together in Berlin, generating pledges to bolster the African nation’s economic and political transformation to the tune of $1.8 billion, and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.
One year after the fall of Sudan’s former longtime ruler, Omar al-Bashir, the country’s dire economic situation, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to present massive challenges and threatens to reverse the accomplishments of the Sudanese revolution thus far, which saw a joint military and civilian Transitional Government installed last September.
#Sudan and its people need urgent assistance to move forward. The #SudanPartnershipConference presents an important opportunity for the international community to support #Sudan transition and rebuild. We must not fail the people of Sudan. #TogetherWithSudan #BerlinSudanConf pic.twitter.com/WbfMG3Iaup— Mark Lowcock (@UNReliefChief) June 25, 2020
In a message to the Conference, UN Secretary General António Guterres admitted to having “a love affair” with the Sudanese, lauding them as “a wonderful people, a generous people”, who always held their doors open, sharing all that they had.
As the Transitional Government implements political and economic reforms, a strong consensus emerged to support the country’s transition in building peace, democratic governance and inclusive economic recovery as well as in progressing towards debt relief.
“We need to mobilize massive financial support”, the UN chief said, which, among other things, is needed to “remove any hiccups that still exist between Sudan and international financial institutions”.
“It is not only because the Sudanese people deserve it…[but] because the world needs a stable Sudan, a democratic Sudan”, he continued.
Underlining the necessity of political partnership and economic support, at the end of the conference, the participants issued a joint communiqué pledging $1.8 billion – to which the World Bank committed to an additional pre-arrears clearance grant, of up to $400 million.
These funds will be used to enhance macro-economic stabilization and the Sudan Family Support Programme – providing vital assistance to millions of vulnerable people, enhancing Sudan’s COVID-19 response capacity and, more generally, supplying humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.
“This Conference marks the start of a process, which will be followed by subsequent engagement by the international community to take stock of the progress made by Sudan in implementing reforms and to allow its partners to adapt their support accordingly”, co-hosts the UN, Germany, European Union and Sudanese Government said, in a joint press release.