Qatar offers $88.5mln for Darfur reconstruction
Qatar has offered a $88.5 million grant to help rebuild Sudan's embattled Darfur region in cooperation with the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) Anadolu Agency reported
"We are very grateful to the State of Qatar for this substantial support to the efforts for peace and recovery in Darfur, where the needs and challenges are enormous," U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Ali Al-Za'tari said in a statement.
"It is our firm belief that investing in development in Darfur can help to break the cycle of violence and begin to sow the seeds of peace in this region of Sudan," he added
According to the statement, the financial aim came to implement one of the main outcomes of the Darfur peace agreement, signed in Doha in 2011, between the government and Liberation and Justice Movement rebel group.
The funds would help implement 17 U.N. projects that aim to meet the immediate priorities of Darfur's development, the release added.
Darfur has been ravaged by a deadly conflict since three rebel groups took up arms against the Khartoum government in 2003.
The U.N., which has described the situation in Darfur as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, has said that an estimated 300,000 people had been killed in the conflict and some 1.8 million displaced.
The Sudanese government, however, insists that the death toll does not exceed 10,000 people.
The Darfur conflict prompted in 2009 an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on a number of charges including genocide committed by government forces and allied militias.
In 2011, Qatar mediated a peace deal between Khartoum and a number of rebel groups fighting the government in the restive Darfur region. Other more influential rebel groups had refused to sign the deal.