World Bank approves $400 million grant for Sudan reforms

Sudan has been beset by extreme poverty and conflict. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 11 October 2020

World Bank approves $400 million grant for Sudan reforms

  • Sudan project aims to deliver cash transfers and improve safety net systems for families affected by expected economic reforms

DUBAI: The World Bank has endorsed a new Country Engagement Note for Sudan, which outlines the financial institution’s program of support for the country’s efforts including economic reforms and building a more equitable social contract.

The CEN focuses on helping Sudan to stabilize the economy and accelerate progress towards addressing the country’s debt challenges, including clearing arrears to the World Bank, the Bank said.

“To end extreme poverty and lift people up from a history of fragility and conflict, Sudan must ensure access to basic services, stable jobs, transparent and accountable institutions, and economic and social inclusion,” according to Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa.

“The World Bank’s engagement will support the country’s development vision, focusing on macro-economic stability, job creation, and sustainable development for all Sudanese people.”

The World Bank also approved $400 million worth of grants to Sudan, namely $200 million for the Pre-Arrears Clearance Grant for the Sudan Family Support Program and a similar amount for the Sudan Transition and Recovery Support Trust Fund.

The project aims to deliver cash transfers and improve safety net systems for Sudanese families affected by expected economic reforms and other short-term shocks.


Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

Updated 23 October 2020

Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

  • The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed a joint statement by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt that condemns Turkish energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and numerous “provocations” that they maintain are threatening regional peace.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “fully rejected the declaration containing baseless accusations and allegations.”
During a trilateral regional summit on Wednesday in Nicosia, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions.
The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations. Greece and Cyprus have signed maritime border agreements with Egypt while dismissing a similar deal that Ankara signed with Libya’s Tripoli-based government as “legally invalid.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the declaration attacked Ankara rather than supporting peace and stability in the region. It repeated Turkey’s position that cooperation could only take place with the inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in governing and sharing the resources of the ethnically divided island nation.
“We will continue with determination to protect our rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean,” the ministry statement said.
The trilateral summit took place amid high tensions between nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey over maritime borders and energy rights.
In late summer, Turkey dispatched a research vessel escorted by warships to conduct seismic research in a part of the Mediterranean Sea that Greece claims as its territory, which prompted the Greek government to deploy its own warships.
Turkey pulled the research ship back to shore for several weeks for maintenance and to allow time for diplomacy but redeployed the Oruc Reis on a new energy exploration mission. A maritime announcement by Turkey says the Oruc Reis and two other ships would continue working in the area until Oct. 27.
Turkey also has had ships prospecting for oil and gas reserves in waters that Cyprus claims as its exclusive economic zone.