Creditor countries agreed to cancel $14.1 billion of Sudan’s international debts, praising its economic reforms and efforts to fight poverty
PARIS — Creditor countries agreed to cancel $14.1 billion of Sudan’s international debts, praising its economic reforms and efforts to fight poverty.
In a statement Friday, the Paris Club of creditor nations also announced that it rescheduled Sudan’s remaining $9.4 billion in debt to the group, and held out the possibility of more debt relief in the future.
Sudan’s overall foreign debt is estimated at $70 billion. The Paris Club, a group of 22 nations that lend to governments in need, urged other lenders to provide similar debt forgiveness.
Sudan’s joint military-civilian government that has ruled the African country after a popular uprising has taken a series of bold steps to try to revive a battered and distorted economy where smuggling is rife. That’s included floating its currency, starting to address heavy government subsidies, particularly on fuel, and seeking investment from international donors.
But some measures also threaten to further impoverish some of the country’s poorest, and have faced opposition from pro-democracy activists who led the popular uprising against autocratic President Omar al-Bashir who ruled the country for nearly 30 years.
The revolt led to the military’s overthrow of al-Bashir in April 2019. The country has since been on a fragile path to democracy with daunting economic challenges representing a major threat to that transition.
Sudan became an international pariah after it was placed on the United States’ list of state sponsors of terror in the 1990s.