Saudi, UAE pledge $3 bn aid for Sudan
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates yesterday announced three billion dollars (2.7 billion euros) in financial support for Sudan following the overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.
The oil-rich Gulf states pledged to inject $500 million into the Sudanese central bank and $2.5 billion to help provide food, medicine, and petroleum products, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. It did not specify if the money is a gift or a loan. The deposit for the central bank is aimed at shoring up the Sudanese pound, the SPA said.
In recent years Sudan has been hit by an acute lack of dollars, a key factor behind the nationwide protests that led to the toppling of Bashir by the army this month.
After weeks of silence on Sudan’s political turmoil, Saudi Arabia and the UAE called for “stability” and a “peaceful transition” in the days following Bashir’s ouster. Both Gulf nations have voiced backing for Sudan’s military rulers, who are facing calls from protesters to cede power to a civilian transitional government.
Since Bashir’s ouster, the Sudanese pound has steadily strengthened on the black market, and on Sunday it jumped to 45 per dollar, after trading at 72 at one stage last week. The official exchange rate is 47.5 pounds to the dollar.