Speaking at the Paris Summit on Sudan, US Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power declared that the 2019 overthrow of Sudan’s dictator “reaffirmed that no matter where it beats, the human heart yearns for dignity. No matter how comfortable dictators feel, no matter how steep the odds they will step aside, those who hold on to power for decades are not in fact immune to the will of their people.”
The United States is committed to supporting Sudan as it pursues its democratic transition. Administrator Power commended Sudan’s Civilian-Led Transitional Government for its political and economic reforms, especially its vocal support of women’s rights.
Even as Sudan works to turn the page from the Bashir regime, Darfur is still the site of bitter violence, with periodic interethnic violence and attacks by militias. The government of Sudan has deployed additional troops in an effort to restore calm, observed Administrator Power, and “we urge continued efforts to negotiate a stable peace in a region that has witnessed decades of horrific violence and trauma.”
As the Civilian-led Transitional Government takes steps to ensure the physical security of the Sudanese people, it is important to also note the strides taken to provide economic security. The central bank’s decision to float the Sudanese pound will help promote long-term economic stability. Additional planned reforms to private sector regulations will help attract much needed foreign investment. The bold step to remove fuel subsidies was a necessary step to help right size the national budget and meet IMF requirements for debt forgiveness.
But Sudan’s lenders and partners must do their part as well. Key to that effort is helping relieve the $60 billion debt that Sudan has accrued over the years.
The United States has been a strong proponent of debt relief. Sudan recently cleared its arrears with the World Bank after the United States provided a $1.15 billion bridge loan: a crucial step to unlocking additional avenues of economic support. The United States is committed to providing grants to help fill remaining financing gaps. The European Union, UK, France, Italy, and Sweden have agreed to do likewise. This support will be critical to jumpstarting the Sudanese economy and ensuring the country has additional resources to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States is committed to supporting democratic and economic reforms in Sudan and assisting the country’s reintegration into the global community.