Kuwait leads pledges for East Sudan at donor conference
Kuwait led the way at an international donor conference for East Sudan with a pledge of 500 million dollars in aid for projects in that part of the East African state, dpa reported according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency.
The conference for East Sudan opened Wednesday morning in Kuwait City.
Thirty-nine countries, 28 institutions, including the World Bank and the United Nations, and 73 non-governmental organizations are represented at the meeting, which is also being attended by Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah, Kuwait's foreign minister, said the pledge of aid for projects in East Sudan would be routed through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
Iran, meanwhile, pledged 200 million dollars towards reconstruction efforts in East Sudan, a vast area east of the Nile River, which suffered a 10-year rebellion between 1996 and 2006.
The European Union pledged a little over 31 million dollars.
When Sudan makes international headlines, it's usually because of events in the west or south.
Western Sudan is reeling from a seven-year conflict in the Darfur region and Southern Sudan is bracing for a tense referendum in the New Year on independence from the north.
Those issues have detracted attention from the resource-rich but under-developed east.
According to United Nations figures, 50 per cent of people in East Sudan live on less than two dollars a day.
Representatives from Khartoum said the government of Sudan would itself spend around 1.5 billion dollars in the development of the area.
Sudan is hoping to net large amounts of investment at this conference.
The 170 infrastructure projects being discussed include a major dam, cement factories and roads and power projects.