World Bulletin/News Desk
Sudanese Finance Minister, Ali Mahmoud has left for Washington to participate in the meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, scheduled to begin in the US capital on October 7.
According to the state-run SUNA news agency, the minister was accompanied by Undersecretary Dr. Yousif Abdullah Hussein, and senior officials of the Sudanese Central Bank.
The trip comes as the country is rocked by protests against a government decision to lift state subsidies on fuel and other vital commodities as part of a controversial economic reform program.
Mahmoud had earlier said that Sudan would participate in the meetings of the Technical Committee of the IMF and the World Bank, formed to look into addressing the joint debts of Sudan and South Sudan - which exceeded $42 billion.
Last year, the IMF called on Sudan to take emergency measures to stabilize its economy noting that the country’s economy was facing "daunting challenges."
The emergency measures suggested by the IMF to regain control of, and stabilize, the country's economy included a long-term fiscal consolidation, and in the medium term, a comprehensive structural reform program to recalibrate the economy in line with the country's economic and financial potential.
Yet, the austerity measures – which also include devaluation of the local currency – sparked massive protests in July 2012.
The severe public backlash forced the government to change gears, opting instead for a more gradual approach to economic reform.
However it again sparked nationwide protests this year, when the government announced its decision of lifting of subsidies on fuel and several other commodities.
While activists say more than 100 people have been killed so far in protest-related violence, Sudanese authorities put the toll at 34, including several policemen.Last Mod: 06 Ekim 2013, 12:15