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Sudan’s Finance Chief: Gov’t Needs Billions to Avoid Economic Collapse

Ibrahim Elbadawi, the finance minister in a transitional government overseeing Sudan following the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir, says the country is running out of foreign currency reserves and needs “between three to four billion [US dollars], maybe even five billion.” In an interview conducted with the Reuters news agency on Thursday, Elbadawi said: “We don’t need to pay anything. What we need to… deliver, really, is policy” for a stable post-Bashir democracy and badly needed reforms. One of the reasons for the country’s estimated $60 billion foreign debt is the fact that when South Sudan seceded in 2011, it took with it most of Sudan’s oil resources. Further, in 1993, world bodies deemed Bashir’s Sudan a state-sponsor of terror, making it ineligible for assistance from such institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. “The people of Sudan deserve to be seen in a radically different prism than the international community used to see Sudan, as a country ruled by a pariah state,” Elbadawi said.