Home | News    Thursday 8 May 2008

Oslo donors pledge around $5 billion to Sudan

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May 7, 2008 (OSLO) — International countries and organizations donors pledge nearly $5 billion in aid to assist Sudan through 2011 to implement a 2005 north-south peace deal in the troubled country.

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Second Vice President of Sudan Ali Osman Taha is pictured during the opening of the Sudan Donor Conference in Oslo on May 6, 2008. (AFP)

Sudan asked donor nations meeting this week for $6.1 billion over the next three years to help rebuild Africa’s largest nation after decades of civil wars. The first donor conference in 2005 raised $4.5 billion for Sudan.

The $4.8 billion pledged by international donors at the Sudan Consortium will support humanitarian, recovery and development efforts in the whole of Sudan for the period 2008 to 2011.

Part of the development funds will be channeled through two complementary mechanisms - the Multi Donor Trust Funds administrated by the World Bank which will receive an estimated US$650 million; and the newly created Sudan Recovery Fund managed by the UN.

"I’m very happy. The reconfirmation of the donor countries’ commitments to Sudan shows that this was very successful," Hartwig Schaefer, director of strategy at the World Bank, said as the end of the two-day donors conference in Oslo.

Many of the roughly 200 delegates at the meeting had expressed high hopes of matching the $4.5 billion pledged over four years at the first donors’ meeting held in Oslo in 2005.

When the meeting opened Tuesday, Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha called for increased support to help Africa’s largest nation recover from 21 years of war, which has cost 2 million lives.

Host Norway immediately pledged $500 million between 2008 and 2011. The European Union promised $435 million for the same period.

Wednesday, Japan and Germany promised to double their aid contributions, to $200 million and $29 million, respectively.

The head of the Japanese delegation said Sudan geographical strategic position and its influence on neighbouring countries pushed his country "to do something" to help for its stability.

While, Gabriele Geier, the chief of the German delegation, likened aid to Sudan to the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild her own country after World War II.

Dave Fish, head of the British delegation pledged $650 million in assistance to Sudan. However he emphasised that "the extent to which these funds can be used for development will depend crucially on resolution of the Darfur crisis."

Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid said the European Commission would provide 300 million euros ($464.7 million) over the next six years on top of 100 million euros in humanitarian aid this year.

The donors, 30 countries and international organisations, insisted on the importance of pushing forward with the implementation of the 2005 peace agreement as well as making progress to resolve the conflict in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, ravaged by a separate civil war.

Hilde Frafjord Johnson, deputy executive director of UNICEF said South Sudan region should not be "held hostage" to the crisis in Darfur adding that it needs aid to continue flowing to improve living conditions.

Hilde, who is former Norwegian aid minister and played an important role during Naivasha talks, said the 2005 peace had suffered two major setbacks: The death of John Garang in a July 2005 plane crash, and continued fighting in Sudan’s troubled Darfur province.

The donors also hope more money this time will be allocated to development rather than emergency aid, but say the Darfur crisis, which has continued despite a 2005 north-south peace treaty, stands in the way. The two-thirds of 2005 pledges are spent on humanitarian aid.

Prior to the two-day Consortium, officials from Sudan’s Government of National Unity and Government of South Sudan met with representatives of the international donor community in a closed session to discuss how to address the situation in Darfur.

(ST)

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  • 9 May 2008 10:45, by Daniel Kalaka

    This five billon dollars it has been dumped in cave rather than implementing the two decade civil war in Sudan particular southern sudan ! watchout where is the first donated money gone? is it been utilized properly ???

    repondre message

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