May 7, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s donors’ conference will be held in Germany next June, said a statement issued by the Friends of Sudan after a videoconference meeting chaired by France’s foreign ministry on Thursday.
In a statement issued in Paris, French Minister Jean- Yves Le Drian voiced the support of the Friends of Sudan for the transitional government to achieve the goals of democratic transition and economic reforms set in the Constitutional Declaration.
Also, the statement disclosed that the long-time awaited donor meeting to support Sudan will take place in Berlin next month.
"At the invitation of Germany, Sudan, the United Nations and the European Union, the donors will meet in Berlin for a “Partnership Conference”, along with all partners committed to the success of the Sudanese transition," reads the statement.
The meeting had to be held in April but Kuwait proposed to postpone it to after May 2020. However, the Gulf country seemed unresolved over a new date, pushing other countries to propose hosting the meeting which is crucial for Khartoum.
During the meeting, the World Bank informed the partners that a Multi-Donor Trust Fund is now ready to receive the funds provided by Sudan’s partners for the implementation of over 20 projects Khartoum had filed at previous meetings.
Several partners, "including the European Union, France, Norway and Sweden already announced their intention to contribute significantly, up to €100 million. Additional contributions are expected ahead of the Berlin Conference".
Also "bilateral and multilateral donors also confirmed their commitment in terms of humanitarian assistance and announced redirected or additional funding to combat COVID- 19".
While other partners stated that they were preparing additional financial support to be announced during the donor conference in June.
The agenda of the Paris meeting discussed the preparation of the Berlin conference and funding to support the Sudanese government to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The participants confirmed their commitment to align their support with the priorities of the Transitional Government. Also, they stressed the priority of the safety net programme that the government plan to implement to mitigate the social impact of reforms on vulnerable families.
Also, the meeting endorsed the Mutual Partnership Framework (MPF) between the Sudanese Government and the partners of the Sudanese transition.
The MPF "is a good base for (a) close partnership" said the statement as it establishes guiding implementing principles of international assistance to the Sudanese Government.
Reacting to Sudan’s exclusion by the World Bank from a list of countries receiving humanitarian support to fight the spread of COVID-19, the meeting said that Sudan deserves also to benefit from this aid.
"The Friends of Sudan noted that Sudan was affected by COVID-19, like other African countries, and underlined the importance of the International Financial Institutions (IFI) seeking extraordinary, flexible approaches in order to ensure they are not excluded from the new facilities established," reads the statement.
The World Bank last April approved $1.9 billion in emergency funds for coronavirus response in 25 developing countries. Currently, it prepares to spend $160 billion over the next 15 months to combat the pandemic.
The Friends of Sudan also recalled their interest to create an IMF staff-monitored programme to launch a debt-relief process under the HIPC Initiative.
"Several participants stressed the importance in this context of (the) removal of Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism," further said the statement.
France for its part, plans to hold a high-level conference, including the international private sector, on the political, economic, financial prospects of the transition in Sudan.
The meeting which will be held in a later date will also mark the launching of the debt-relief process.