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Arab League’s special envoy for humanitarian affairs to visit Sudan

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August 1, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Arab League’s (AL) secretary-general’s special envoy for humanitarian affairs, Hissa Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, will visit Sudan later this month to inaugurate several development projects in Darfur.

The AL representative in Khartoum, Salah Halima, told the official news agency SUNA that Al Thani would meet with government officials and civil society organisations operating in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan, noting she will stand on the workflow of development and services projects in Darfur within the framework of reconstruction and development efforts in the restive region.

Halima said AL had built 15 model villages, as well as establishing six agricultural projects and several development and services projects in the war-ravaged region, saying that Al Thani would open some of these projects during her visit.

Al Thani will also visit eastern Sudan’s states and South Kordofan state, as well as discuss a plan on humanitarian and development projects which was prepared by the AL in consultation with the Sudanese government.

The Egyptian diplomat further described Al Thani’s visit to other Sudanese states as exploratory, saying she will identify needs of these states and see ways for participation in implementing some projects particularly in areas of health and education.

Al Thani’s visit was initially scheduled for April 2014.

Arab countries were criticised for not contributing enough in the ongoing efforts to rebuild Darfur, a region where the 11-year conflict forced over four million to flee their villages and areas.

The model villages and some recovery projects are implemented in application of a decision adopted in a summit held in Doha in March 2009. At the time the regional organisation decided to allocate eight million dollars monthly for Darfur.

The UN says there are still one and half million in the IDPs camps and some 200,000 refugees in neighbouring countries, particularly Chad.

In April 2013, an international donor conference for reconstruction in Darfur was held in the Qatari capital of Doha where Darfur regional authority and UN agencies sought to collect $7.2 billion.

The participants made financial pledges of $3.6 billion, including $2.65 billion from the Sudanese government to be implemented during the next six years. Qatar, the host of the peace process and donor conference, declared that it is making a $500 million contribution.

(ST)

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