Overview

  • Sudan sits at the crossroads of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and is bordered by seven countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad, and Libya. Sudan also boarders the Red Sea to the northeast. Its capital, Khartoum, lies at the confluence of the White and Blue Niles, and its main port on the Red Sea. Although mostly desert, Sudan has fertile land, mountains, and livestock.

    For most of its independent history, the country has been beset by conflict. Under the terms of a peace agreement in 2005, its southern states seceded, forming the Republic of South Sudan in 2011.

    The secession of South Sudan induced multiple economic shocks. The most important and immediate shock was the loss of the oil revenue that accounted for more than half of Sudan’s government revenue and 95% of its exports. This has reduced economic growth, and resulted in double-digit consumer price inflation, which, together with increased fuel prices, triggered violent protests in September 2013. Continuous food price hikes were also the immediate cause of demonstrations that started in December 2018.

    In 2013, the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan damaged both economies depriving Sudan of much needed pipeline revenues. The war in South Sudan also precipitated an increase in Sudan’s already large population of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) with Sudan now serving as a source, destination and transit country for irregular migration, including refugees and asylum-seekers using the East African North-bound migratory route through Libya to Europe. The country hosts an estimated 763 thousand South Sudanese refugees and 159 thousand refugees and asylum seekers from Eritrea, Syria, Yemen, and Chad.The recent peace accord between the warring parties brokered by Sudan and Ethiopia appears to be holding, but the war damaged oil infrastructure, further eroding revenue availability to Sudan.

    Following the global oil price slump in 2015/2016, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to lower oil transit fees for South Sudanese oil via Sudan’s pipeline, as it became uneconomic to export it. In December 2016, they extended their 2012 agreement on oil for three years on the same terms, with the exception of provisions for the adjustment of transit fees in line with global oil prices.   

    Armed conflict in Sudan’s westernmost region of Darfur has subsided but many parts of the region remain precarious because of the proliferation of arms and banditry. Efforts to settle another conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile remain deadlocked.  

    Comprehensive U.S. sanctions on Sudan, levied in 1997 and expanded in 2006, were lifted in October 2017. This generated initial optimism, but foreign investors and commercial banks have been reluctant to reengage. Trade and financial transactions between Sudan and the World economy remain very limited as Sudan continues to be designated by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism, preventing full normalization of relations with the U.S. While there was optimism late 2018 that talks to remove the designation are expected to begin soon, the protests that escalated in December 2018 might have hampered progress on the talks.

    Last Updated: Apr 02, 2019

  • The overriding goal of the World Bank Group (WBG) is to support the reduction of extreme poverty and improve the prospects for more shared prosperity in Sudan. In this context, the WBG Interim Strategy Note (ISN) has been structured around two pillars: managing the economic transition; and addressing the socio-economic roots of conflict, with a crosscutting focus on governance and gender.

    In its strategy for Sudan, the WBG continues to build a dynamic portfolio of projects, which currently amount to $181million, by mobilizing third-party financial resources (largely through Bank-managed multi-donor trust funds). In November 2017, Sudan released the results of its 2014-2015 poverty survey, putting the nationwide rate of poverty at 36.1%. Given Sudan’s ongoing economic transition, the World Bank’s technical assistance and knowledge resources will be key to guiding authorities in identifying a path toward inclusive and shared growth and poverty reduction. These include a range of reports and analyses, such as Enabling the Business of Agriculture, the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study, as well as the new Country Economic Memorandum.

    With Sudan’s current lack of access to International Development Association funding, the WBG program will continue to be resourced through trust funds, partnerships, and the Bank budget. The World Bank is preparing a Systematic Country Diagnostic with the objective to identify the most critical constraints and opportunities facing Sudan in accelerating progress toward the goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

    Last Updated: Apr 02, 2019

  • Since 2013 up to 2018, the World Bank Group’s engagement in Sudan was carried almost exclusively through the different trust fund entrances.

    • Basic Education Recovery Project - Effective July 2013, the project had largely met its objectives improving the learning environment and increasing the availability of textbooks in primary schools across the targeted areas. The project printed and distributed 22 million textbooks, completed the construction of 1,182 classrooms, and provided grants to 6,399 schools. The total number of student enrolled was 6,020,820, of which females’ percentage was 47%. School enrollment in the 18 sub-national states (where the project constructed classrooms), has increased by 20.4%. A school census was also supported by the project, with various indicators and planned continuity of five years’ follow-up of data in a very simplified manner. That ensured the easiness of data entry, analysis, and reporting. Two rounds of National Learning Assessments have been developed to assess the quality of education within two grades (three and six) in the Basic Education level.
    • Social Protection Safety Net Project - The project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Security and Social Development to transparently and effectively implement the national Cash Transfer Program in correlation with piloting a Productive Safety Net approach for poor households. The project has strengthened the implementation of the ministry’s cash transfer program: 128,000 beneficiaries have been recertified using the mixed method of geographical selection, proxy means testing, and community validation. The Management Information System infrastructure and training to support the recertification process are in place and the data is being verified frequently. In addition, PSN targeted and reached 1000 households, of which 300 are headed by women, about 400 CT staff were trained, and 400 CT beneficiaries also received training.
    • Natural Resource Management: Financed through the Global Environmental Facility, the project aided in the adoption of sustainable land and water management practices in more than 111,000 hectares of land in different parts of Sudan. In general, more than 47,000 people (of which 45% are women), benefited from the project’s activities. Two thousand farmers have benefited from the project’s livelihood activities.
    • Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ Readiness - The REDD+ project design inclined towards being a social and environmental national Readiness program for the carbon markets. Phase I achievements between 2014-2018 include technical studies on the "drivers of deforestation" and "land tenure," the creation of a benefit sharing mechanism to channel carbon finance to local communities, the development of a national REDD+ Strategy and the development of a national Forest and Rangelands Inventory and Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL)
    • Statistical Capacity Building Project - This project aimed to strengthen the capacity of Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) to monitor social indicators, collect pilot household agricultural production statistics, and improve the country’s system of national accounts. Implemented in 2015, the project achieved all of its objectives by the time it closed in November 2018. CBS mapped out available key social indicators, identifying data gaps and drafted a plan to close those gaps. The project also provided training for capacity building of CBS to produce poverty profiles and maps. The project included a pilot agricultural production survey, conducted in one of Sudan’s 18 states. The project supported assessment of the current Systems of National Accounts (SNA) and produced a roadmap for migrating to SNA 2008 from SNA 1968. Thanks to the project, CBS now has an IT-equipped Training Room.

    Last Updated: Apr 02, 2019

  • The current World Bank portfolio of investments and knowledge activities cuts across a range of key issues and includes several investment projects financed through the Global Partnership for Education, the Global Environment Facility, and the State & Peacebuilding Fund Strategic Initiative.

    In 2014, the World Bank Group introduced the Sudan Multi-Partner Fund (SMPF), with an initial donor commitment of $11 million (met approximately by $15 million as governmental financing), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid) and Norway.  

    In December 2018, DFID provided additional fund of about $9 million, bringing the total SMPF to $20 million.

    Last Updated: Apr 02, 2019

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LENDING

Sudan: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Khartoum 2, street 39, Plot 39
P.O. Box 229
Khartoum, Sudan
+249-156-553-000
For general information and inquiries
Gelila Woodeneh
Sr. Communications Officer
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+(251) 115176000
gwoodeneh@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
sudanalert@worldbank.org