Saudi Arabia to invest $3 billion in Sudan investment fund

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after The Saudi Cup, picture taken Feb. 20, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has committed to investing $3 billion in a joint fund for investments in Sudan, and to encouraging other parties to participate, Sudanese minister of Cabinet affairs Khalid Omer Yousif told Reuters on Friday.

Earlier this week, Sudan had secured a recommitment from Saudi Arabia to a $1.5 billion grant it had first announced in April 2019.

The commitments came from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Yousif said, during a visit by Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior officials this week, seeking to boost cooperation as Sudan’s transitional authorities struggle to tackle a long-running economic crisis.

Sudan received $300 million of the 2019 grant following the removal of former President Omar al-Bashir by the military following months of protest, Yousif told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had jointly promised $3 billion in aid to Sudan and Sudanese officials previously indicated that $750 million of that aid had been delivered, including a $500 million deposit in the central bank.

However, there was no news of further disbursements and it was unclear whether the remainder of the aid would be delivered after civilian groups struck a power-sharing deal with the military in the summer of 2019.

Some of the aid was expected to arrive in the form of badly needed supplies of wheat, medicine, fuel and other goods, and Yousif said joint committees would determine how the remaining $1.2 billion of the Saudi Arabian grant would be delivered.

Hamdok and his officials also visited Egypt this week, and in a joint statement on Friday the two neighbo‮ع‬rs said they had agreed to increase the capacity of their joint electrical grid to 240 megawatts for the coming summer, as well as work to connect the countries’ railways.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, additional reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah, writing by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jonathan Oatis