Germany, UN Holding Conference to Help Needy Families in Sudan
Germany and the United Nations are hosting a Berlin-based virtual conference Thursday aimed at attracting donors to assist Sudan in supporting impoverished households. The goal is to raise $500 million, which will be disbursed through the World Bank’s Family Support Fund. Abdalla Hamdok, prime minister of a transition government running Sudan between the 2019 overthrow of despot Omar al-Bashir and the planned establishment of a constitutionally mandated political system, says the country is in dire need of funds to replace income from oil fields taken in 2011 with the secessionist establishment of South Sudan. In addition, Hamdok is trying to help families make up for government subsidies canceled at the demand of Western donor countries aiding Khartoum in healing its ravaged economy. Much of the economic damage was caused by sanctions imposed by the United States, which declared Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 over Bashir’s support for terror groups. Under the sanctions, international trade was devastated and Khartoum was barred from borrowing from the International Monetary Fund. The coronavirus pandemic has further ravaged the economy, with much-needed supplies and medications having become unavailable.