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USAID: We will continue our support to Sudan and call on others to follow suit 

Paris, May 18 (SUNA) – The United States of America has affirmed that it will do all it can to support Sudan as it pursues its democratic transition. Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power commended in its address for the Paris conference on Sudan the civilian-led transitional government for its political and economic reforms—especially Prime Minister Hamdok’s public support of women’s rights. The US official said it was these efforts, together with steps the Transitional Government took to redress the surviving families of terrorist victims—including that of USAID’s own John Granville—that led the U.S. to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Miss Power added that that decision reflected US desire to partner with Sudan through this new phase and to reintegrate the country into the global community.

The US official indicated that after decades of violence, and repression, it is time for Sudan to reclaim its voice in the concert of nations and to ensure the country is able to turn the page from its dark past.

But she indicated that it is troubling as we celebrate this new beginning for Sudan, that Darfur is still the site of bitter violence.

She added that the world knows that the government of Sudan has deployed additional troops in an effort to restore calm, and US urge continued efforts to negotiate a stable peace in a region that has witnessed decades of horrific violence and trauma.

She said that this effort must extend beyond Darfur, to redress grievances and ensure that marginalized people across the country are protected and included in the country’s development.

The US official said that as the transitional government takes steps to ensure the physical security of the Sudanese people, it has already taken important strides to provide them economic security, pointing out that the central bank’s decision to float the Sudanese pound, while difficult, will help promote long-term economic stability.

 “But we, as Sudan’s lenders and partners, must do our part as well, helping clear the way for the country to prosper, and for our private sectors to invest in and trade with the country. Key to that effort is helping relieve the $50 billion debt that Sudan has accrued over the years,” the US official said.

Miss Samantha Power indicated that the United States has been a strong proponent of debt relief since the inception of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative in 1996 and that over the last 25 years; US have provided full bilateral debt forgiveness to every country that reached its completion point. She pointed out that as Director van Trotsenburg confirmed, Sudan has cleared its arrears with the World Bank after the U.S. provided a $1.15 billion bridge loan—a crucial step to unlocking additional avenues of economic support.

The US official went on to say that thanks to the governments of Britain, Sweden, and Ireland, Sudan has also settled its arrears with the African Development Bank, indicating that France’s stance of  providing a similar bridge loan will clear its arrears with the International Monetary Fund—crucial steps to securing debt relief and freeing constraints on the Sudanese economy.

She affirmed that the United States is committed to providing grants to help fill remaining financing gaps, and commends the European Union, Italy, and Sweden for their willingness to provide grants as well.

“We hope other countries follow suit. This support will be critical to jumpstarting the Sudanese economy and ensuring the country has additional resources to combat the primary and secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the US official said.

BT/BT

Source: SUNA

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