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Sudan receives $1.5bn from Saudi Arabia, UAE

October 9, 2019 at 12:09 am

Sudanese banknote [Bank of Sudan/Wikipedia]

Sudan has received $1.5 billion of a total of $3 billion aid pledged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April, Sudanese finance minister said.

Ibrahim Elbadawi explained that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had deposited $500 million with the Sudanese central bank, adding that the other $1 billion was received in the form of petroleum products, wheat and products used by the agricultural sector.

The Gulf countries agreed the aid package soon after former President Omar Al-Bashir was ousted in April.

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“I met with the ambassadors of the kingdom and of the UAE, and we agreed on a programmed schedule that will, God willing, take us to the end of 2020, to finish off the rest of the grant,” Elbadawi said on the sidelines of an event in the UAE capital city of Abu Dhabi.

Sudan’s economy has been struggling since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output and depriving Khartoum of a key source of foreign currency. Long lines for bread and fuel have become a recurring feature of Sudan’s prolonged economic crisis.

Last month, Elbadawi announced a nine-month economic rescue plan aimed at curbing rampant inflation while ensuring supplies of basic goods. The plan would keep bread and petrol subsidies in place until at least June 2020.