Sudan had secured a $1.5 billion (R13bn) loan from a Chinese bank that was guaranteed by state oil firm China National Petroleum Corporation, Sudan’s finance minister said yesterday, throwing a lifeline to the country.

Sudan has been struggling with an economic crisis since losing three-quarters of its oil production when South Sudan became independent in 2011.

Oil was the main revenue source for the budget and for dollars needed to buy basic food imports. “The $1.5bn loan will be used to bridge the fiscal gap and enhance our balance of payments,” Finance Minister Ali Mahmoud said. – Reuters