Sudan requests IMF monitoring as revenues slump


Sudan has requested an 18-month IMF monitoring program starting this month, as its economy is hit by a sharp decline in oil revenues and foreign direct investment, according to documents published overnight.

In a letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund dated June 18, Sudan‘s finance minister, Awad Ahmed al-Jaz, and central bank Governor Sabir Mohamed Hassan said policies and measures going forward will focus on sustained economic growth and rebuilding foreign exchange reserves.

“We remain hopeful that the international community will recognize the important efforts that we have made over the past decade with respect to cooperation on policies and payments, and will take concrete action on debt relief for Sudan comparable to that provided to numerous other countries,” the finance officials said.

Jaz told Reuters on May 11 that Sudan‘s economy is expected to grow by up to 6 percent this year, helped by increasing revenues from the export of livestock and related products.

Sudan, a modest oil producer, recorded growth of 8-9 percent last year buoyed by record oil prices. It has avoided the worst of the global financial crisis because of sanctions imposed by the United States and others that have insulated the economy, Jaz added.

Still, Sudan has not been immune from the decline in global oil prices and tight credit conditions that have affected foreign investment.

The Sudanese government has been condemned by the international community for not doing more to end the crisis in its western Darfur region. In addition, there are still tensions between the north and south following a civil war between 1983 and 2005 in which an estimated 2 million people died and 4 million were displaced.