US Plays Major Role in Sudan Relief Effort
Under a debt relief plan won by advocates in the early 2000s, Sudan could see a drastic cut in its $50 billion debt this summer, according to the IMF and the World Bank.
“Sudan’s debts would be cut by 85% under the debt relief plan,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network, which was a major force for the creation of the debt reduction process. “Debt relief cannot come soon enough for Sudan as the country struggles with the pandemic and a 50% poverty rate."
Thirty-seven, out of thirty-nine eligible countries, received debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative or HIPC. In order for Sudan to receive a debt reduction, it must meet IMF economic reforms and clear missed debt payments. The United States loaned $1.1 billion to Sudan to clear debt payment arrears to the World Bank and convened creditors to secure debt relief.
"The United States is an important leader in Sudan debt relief and is playing a crucial role in expanding debt relief policies during the pandemic," shared LeCompte, who worked with Republican and Democratic administrations for more than a decade on debt policies. "This relief for Sudan can support economic growth and stabilize a hard-won peace in a country where conflict raged for 17 years."
After Sudan obtains debt relief, Eritrea remains the lone country that could qualify under the HIPC debt relief plan won by Jubilee USA.