By Faith Nyasuguta
The World Bank has dismissed aid to Sudan following the military takeover that toppled the Prime Minister.
“I am greatly concerned by recent events in Sudan, and I fear the dramatic impact this can have on the country’s social and economic recovery and development,” World Bank President David Malpass said via a statement.
The coup is the latest blow on the poor African nation that just recently won its way back into good standing with key Washington-based development lenders after years in the wilderness.
On Monday, the military seized Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and briefly detained him in the takeover that came just over two years into a precarious power-sharing arrangement between the military and civilians after the army ousted longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
Currently, the World Bank has “paused disbursements in all of its operations in Sudan (on Monday) and it has stopped processing any new operations as we closely monitor and assess the situation,” Malpass said.
Similarly, the United States has suspended aid to the nation whose economy is on its knees.
“We hope that peace and the integrity of the transition process will be restored, so that Sudan can restart its path of economic development and can take its rightful place in the international financial community,” Malpass said.
In recent days, Sudan has been emerging from years of stringent US sanctions after Washington removed the country from its state sponsor of terrorism blacklist in December 2020, obliterating a major hurdle to the much-needed aid and financial investment.
In June this year, the World Bank and the IMF granted Sudan debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, shrinking the nation’s debt in half to about $28 billion, and the institutions have offered additional help if economic reforms continue.