Today, 27 September 2020, the European Union and the World Bank signed an agreement to work in partnership on the Sudan Family Support Programme, which will support Sudanese families affected by economic reforms. The signed agreement allocates a total amount of EUR 92.9 million (USD 110 million) to the Sudan Transition and Recovery Support (STARS) Multi Donor Trust Fund administered and managed by the World Bank. The trust fund is the primary financing mechanism for the government-led and implemented Sudan Family Support Program (SFSP). At the occasion, the ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden also announced their support, summing up to EUR 67 million (78.2 million USD), bringing the total Team Europe contribution to the Family Support Programme to EUR 160 million (186.6 million USD).
The signing ceremony was held at the Prime Minister’s Office in the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, the Ministers of Labour and Social Development, Culture and Information, the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, European Ambassadors, UN officials and other government officials. The agreement was signed by Ambassador of the European Union to Sudan, Robert van den Dool and Mr. Ousmane Dione, Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan of the World Bank.
Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of Sudan commended the efforts made by the World Bank, the exemplary cooperation with the EU and its member States and the steps in following on the pledges made in the Berlin Conference. He noted that after the recent signing of the Staff Monitoring Programme with the IMF, today’s ceremony marks: “an important step in enabling the civilian led Transitional Government to provide the much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable Sudanese as the cabinet accelerates its urgent economic reforms.”
“The World Bank is pleased to work in partnership with the EU and other development partners to support the Government of Sudan during this important period of transition,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan. “Our main goal is to assist the transitional government in achieving it critical economic and social targets while cushioning the anticipated impact of the reforms on Sudanese citizens,” he added.
EU Ambassador Robert van den Dool said “With the signing of this agreement, the European Union is making good on its pledge at the Berlin conference in June 2020, to support the transitional government in its efforts to launch economic and political reforms to prepare Sudan for elections, democratization and nation building. Together with the contributions announced today by EU member states, we have also shown that this Team Europe Approach allows us to join forces very effectively with our partners to make an even bigger difference for Sudan and its people. This joint Team Europe effort has also helped in triggering the World Bank to consider contributing substantially with resources which will be decided by its Board in the coming days. We know in the European Union that our support to Sudan is not just an act of solidarity but it is also an investment in the future of Sudan, for the stability and the development in the region and in order to set a reference for the world that peaceful change is doable.”
The Sudan Family Support Programme is led and implemented by the Sudanese government. The Programme is being implemented by the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Labour and Social Development, and Interior, along with other relevant agencies, and will be executed by the Digital Economy Agency. The pilot phase is being launched in October 2020 and the program will be gradually scaled up over the next few months, starting with the states of Khartoum, Red Sea, South Darfur and Kassala. The second phase will roll out to the other most affected states. On behalf of the Ministerial Steering Committee for the program, Acting Minister of Finance Dr. Hiba Ahmed explained that “the Family Support Program is an important part of the transitional government’s reform agenda. It will alleviate some of the economic challenges currently facing Sudanese throughout the country, including in rural areas, especially women and the most vulnerable, and it will help to strengthen the permanent social safety net and increase financial inclusion. We appreciate the contributions of our development partners.”
Khartoum 27 September 2020