Sudan Sense of a new beginning after decades of dictatorship
Prior to that, the country had experienced 30 years of dictatorship, civil war and the disenfranchisement and exclusion of large sections of the population. In September 2019, a dual military-civilian interim government took over. Its task is to draft a new constitution, implement far-reaching political and economic reforms, and prepare the ground for free general elections – all by early 2024.
Germany suspended its development cooperation with Sudan after Bashir seized power in 1989. In order to bring some relief directly to the suffering people of Sudan, a few selected measures were funded under the transitional development assistance programme and the Special Initiative on Displacement.
After Bashir was ousted in 2019, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development stepped up its activities in the Sudan considerably. In 2020, the German parliament passed a motion to re-start official bilateral development cooperation with the Sudan. Development cooperation now focuses on measures to foster peace and social cohesion and to create job opportunities for the predominantly young population.
For further information on German-Sudanese cooperation, see below (External link).
The Sudan Partnership Conference
The informal Friends of Sudan group was established in June 2019 on a German initiative to coordinate international support for the Sudan. A year later, in June 2020, delegations from 40 countries and 15 international organisations took part in a web-based conference, the Sudan Partnership Conference (External link). Co-hosts of the conference were Germany, the United Nations, the European Union and the Sudan.
The international partners committed more than 1.8 billion US dollars to assist the country. The conference also highlighted the next steps that the Sudan should take to smooth the way for a possible debt relief process under the HIPC Initiative.
German development cooperation with the Sudan
Germany suspended its development cooperation with the Sudan after Bashir seized power in a coup d'état in 1989. However, it did continue to fund grassroots measures which directly benefitted the suffering people. These measures were implemented primarily by United Nations' organisations, international non-governmental organisations or the German implementing organisation, GIZ.
After Bashir was ousted, the Bundestag (Germany's national parliament) asked the German government in February 2020 to resume bilateral development cooperation with the Sudan. At the Sudan Partnership Conference held in June 2020, the BMZ pledged 118 million euros to support the reform-minded interim government. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office made available 32 million euros in funding for humanitarian relief operations.
In addition to supporting peace-building and social cohesion measures, Germany's development cooperation with the Sudan focuses especially on helping to create job opportunities for the predominantly young population. The BMZ is providing support for the interim government's social transfer programme, which seeks to alleviate social hardships for the population.
Other projects currently being implemented under development cooperation seek to provide support for refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities and, over the longer term, to eliminate structural causes of displacement such as poverty, inequality and lack of food security. Vocational education and employment programmes have an important role to play in these efforts – as does the provision of basic services such as water supply and sanitation systems, education, health care and food security.