Sudan’s Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi on Monday said the country has received half of $3 billion in aid promised by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in April, reported Reuters. He said he expects the remaining aid will be paid by the end of next year.
Both Saudi Arabia and UAE promised the aid package soon after the military ousted former president Omar Al-Bashir in April this year. The aid was aimed at providing a lifeline to Sudan’s new military leaders after Bashir’s exit.
Finance Minister Elbadawi said the Gulf countries had deposited $500 million in the Sudanese central bank and sent petroleum products, wheat and agricultural production inputs of worth $1 billion.
“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,” the finance minister said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event in Abu Dhabi, where Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is visiting after traveling to Riyadh earlier in the week. Mr. Hamdok met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in Riyadh.
The government media offices of Saudi Arabia and the UAE have not yet issued a response.
Sudan’s new prime minister Hamdok was accompanied by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the transitional sovereign council, and other senior officials on his visit to the Gulf.
In September, Elbadawi announced that the government has made a nine-month economic rescue plan that is aimed at putting a full stop on rampant inflation while ensuring supplies of basic goods, which would keep bread and petrol subsidies in place until at least June 2020.
In related news, Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry on Sunday said it is working on having Sudan removed from the United States’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.