Sudan needs $8 billion aid to rebuild ravaged economy, new PM says

Sudan's new Prime Minister in the transitional government Abdalla Hamdok, speaks during a Reuters interview in Khartoum, Sudan. REUTERS

By Khalid Abdelaziz

KHARTOUM — Sudan needs $8 billion in foreign aid over the next two years to cover its import bill and help rebuild its ravaged economy after months of political turmoil, new prime minister Abdallah Hamdok said on Saturday.

Abdallah Hamdok, sworn in three days earlier in to head a transitional ruling body after the ousting of veteran leader Omar al-Bashir, said up to another $2 billion of foreign reserves deposits were needed in the next three months to halt a fall in the currency.

The economist who has worked for the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, said he had started talks with the IMF and the World Bank to discuss restructuring Sudan's crippling debt and had approached friendly nations and funding bodies about the aid.

"We are in communication to achieve this," he said in his interview. "The foreign reserves in the central bank are weak and very low."

He also said he had been talking with the United States to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism - a designation which has left Khartoum isolated from the bulk of the international financial system since 1993.

"We will work to unify the exchange rate, and to manage the exchange rate using a flexible managed exchange rate," Hamdok said.

"We have already started discussions with funding bodies, including elements from the World Bank, IMF, and the African Development Bank," in order to come to an understanding about Sudan's debts, he added. REUTERS