28 September 2014, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group, AfDB, on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 approved Sudan’s Country Brief 2014-2016 and Country Portfolio Performance Review which identify challenges and opportunities to guide the Bank’s programmes and operational activities in Sudan over the next three years.
The Brief comes with a combined US $133.60 million exceptional support comprising US $91.10 million as exceptional eligibility and utilization of the FSF (Fragile States Facility) Pillar I resources under ADF-13 cycle, and US $42.50 million or 50% of the grant component of PBA (Performance-Based Allocation) under ADF-13. These resources are programmed to finance strategic technical assistance, capacity building and targeted operations critical to preventing Sudan from sliding into deeper fragility.
In making the approvals, the Board notes that while Sudan has made good progress on both the political and economic fronts, daunting political challenges still remain; however, the Board observed that the country was eager to re-engage with the international community. “This difficulty to make headway, especially on debt relief front, comes with the risk that the country could slide into deeper fragility that could have regional implications and painful costs. This risk is exacerbated by the conflict in South Sudan,” the brief states.
It added that while the recent economic reforms are endearing donors to slowly scale up engagement, the slow progress on debt relief and lack of access to concessional financing could reverse important policy reforms gains and stall progress in poverty reduction and social service delivery.
Sudan, it notes, looks up to the AfDB to remain engaged by providing innovative financing and stepping up policy dialogue to build traction in the resolution of the country’s external debt.
Policy dialogue; technical assistance, capacity building and targeted operations to reduce fragility have been retained as priorities during the 2014-2016 programme period. These will be implemented under two pillars: i) Governance and Accountability; and ii) Skills and Technology, which consolidate these priorities against key milestones that will continue to enhance the Bank’s visibility and effectiveness.
These priorities are consistent with Sudan’s national policy framework (the I-PRSP), the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy 2013-2022 and the Bank’s Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa 2014-2019, which builds on the Busan New Deal for engagement in Fragile States and the recommendations of the 2014 High Level Panel Report on Fragile States.
At the end of February 2014, the Bank’s portfolio in Sudan comprised 11 operations with a total commitment of US $60.90 million, 97% of which is in Technical Assistance (TA), Capacity Building (CB) and Knowledge Work.
*Technical contact: Abdul Kamara, Resident Representative, Sudan Field Office, firstname.lastname@example.org