(Thessherald)–Today, the European Union has announced €100 million to support the civilian-led authorities in Sudan to meet the most pressing needs of the democratic transition.
“The European Union is fully committed to accompanying the ongoing political transition in Sudan through all the means at its disposal. Besides political support, financial assistance to Sudan remains crucial, given the severity of the economic crisis in the country. We hope that these additional €100 million will boost the efforts of the transitional Government to implement reforms”, said High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell , who is currently on his first official visit to Sudan.
“Sudan now has an historic opportunity to transform into a democratic society. The European Union is fully committed to supporting the Sudanese people to succeed.”
EU support to Sudan comes in the context of the popular protests that toppled President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The transitional civilian authority is preparing the country for free and fair elections in 2022 but faces enormous social, economic and political challenges.
“ This new package of financial assistance will help the Sudanese Government to implement critical economic reforms required to create jobs and expand the provision of public services across the country, and to provide opportunity for the youth and women at the forefront of change in Sudan”, Jutta Urpilainen , Commissioner for International Partnerships, said earlier today.
EU assistance in Sudan will focus primarily on support to:
economic opportunities for youth and women, and the peace process and democratic Governance.
Sudanese authorities, EU and international partners together identified these sectors as being vital for the welfare of the population and the future of the country.
The Sudanese economy has contracted for a second year in a row, and the transitional Government recognises a clear need for macro-economic and structural reforms to stabilise it. These reforms should carefully manage a move away from generalised subsidies to a comprehensive social protection system.
The EU will support the efforts to buffer the transition for the most vulnerable citizens. The EU will also support the transitional Government in enhancing accountability and improving the management of public finances.
The EU will work with the Sudanese authorities and partners to create employment opportunities in Sudan, especially for youth and women. There will be a focus on education and training, and on women’s economic empowerment.
Finally, the EU will also support the peace process and the protection and promotion of human rights in Sudan.
Sudan has embarked on a complex political transition following the agreement on a civilian-led transition of 17 August 2019. This represents a major step towards civilian-led rule with a historic opportunity to achieve peace, democracy and economic recovery.
The European Union is a key partner for the Sudanese authorities in their quest to make the transition to democracy a success.
To that end, it supports the consolidation of the political transition in Sudan and is ready to accompany the country on its path to political and economic reform and implementation.
The new financial assistance of €100 million announced today will be delivered through the ‘European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’ (EUTF for Africa).
Last December, the EU already provided, through the EUTF for Africa, a €7 million support package to the Prime Minister’s Office and €35 million to bolster the country’s social protection system. This came in addition to a funding of €60 million for projects under the EUTF for Africa, which will start in early 2020.
The EU supports the political transition in Sudan through technical assistance.
The announcement made today brings the total contribution by the European Union to the Sudanese civilian-led transition to €217 million for development cooperation.
In addition, the EU provided €13 million in the second half of 2019 for stability and peace, specifically to help strengthen social cohesion and human security in the peripheries and to reduce the risk of conflict.