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HIPC Achievement Is a Milestone

Omer B. Abu Haraz

Omer B. Abu Haraz

The following statement of the World Bank, IMF, and the International Development Association (IDA), on June 29, 2021, is a landmark in the recent history of Sudan. It marks the reunion of Sudan to the international community on all fronts – economic, social, and political – after hard isolation for three decades. The hesitancy of some Sudanese to recognize the importance of the event and to undermine the painstaking efforts of Dr. Hamdok and his civilian government will be conclusively removed by this article. Opponents of the revolution and the elements of the ousted regime worked hard among the people is calculated plans and steps to undermine the months of hard work spent by P.M. Dr. Hamdok to reach this point by saying will be no immediate effect on eliminating the hardship of people to make ends meet in their struggle to earn their living.

To rebut the false allegations of the enemies of the revolution I cite part of the joint statement by the executive boards of the World Bank, IDA, and the IMF:

The Executive Boards of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have determined that Sudan has taken the necessary steps to begin receiving debt relief under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Sudan is the 38th country to reach this milestone, known as the HIPC Decision Point.

Debt relief will support Sudan in implementing essential reforms to improve the lives of its people by allowing the freeing up of resources to tackle poverty and improve social conditions. Sudan’s external public debt will be irrevocably reduced—through HIPC debt relief and other debt-relief initiatives anchored to the HIPC initiative—by more than US$50 billion in net present value terms, representing over 90 percent of Sudan’s total external debt—if it reaches the HIPC Completion Point in about three years.

In addition, as Sudan continues on its path towards peace, stability, and development after more than 30 years of isolation from the international financial system, the normalization of its relations with the international community will enable access to critical additional financial resources to strengthen the economy and improve social conditions.

“Today marks an important milestone that will enable Sudan to significantly reduce its debt burden. This is a potentially transformative outcome for a nation of 44 million people that have suffered conflict, instability, and economic isolation for decades,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass following the World Bank Executive Board discussion on June 28, 2021. “The World Bank has been providing pre-arrears clearance grants to Sudan and supporting the Sudan Family Support Program, and I am looking forward to further scaling up our engagement to improve the living conditions of the Sudanese people.”

In simple words and from the statement of the World Bank, IDA, and IMF US$23.3 billion will be a total initial relief for Sudan after reaching the Decision Point on June 29, 2021. This will be complemented by another US$50 billion on reaching the completion point in about 3 years.

So, after three years or less Sudan’s external debt will be less than US$6.0 billion. The three years can significantly be reduced if the government of Sudan works hard and speedily to make considerable reforms on the investment act, setting appropriate steps to alleviate poverty by reducing the citizens blow poverty line to one digit and finally by reaching a conclusive and inclusive peace agreement with all insurgent groups plus integrating all armed groups in one national army (including the Rapid Support Forces).

The above three prerequisites, if successfully achieved soonest, will create conducive conditions of stability, security, peace to the flow of heavy investment by the international companies which will boost production, productivity, and exports which in the end reduce the three years for completion, considerably.

So, the ball is now in our hands. We need to rise tall above all detrimental political differences.

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