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Contributions to Sudan exceeds UN expectations

The EU Commission set the tone for the Oslo Donors Conference by giving $700 million in aid to Sudan for the period of 2005-2007. The total of $4.5 billion raised at the conference exceeded UN estimations by $2 billion.

“I am very pleased with the amount that has been pledged. This demonstrates that the concern for Sudan is truly international,” said International Development Minister Hilde F. Johnson.

Representatives from over 60 countries and international organisations attended the Oslo donor conference on 11 – 12 April to show their commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Sudan in January 2005.

Norway will allocate $250 million in next two years to the Multi-Donor Trust Funds that have been established to channel the development assistance. The World Bank will administer the funds.

The report “Framework for Sustained Peace, Development and Poverty Eradication in Sudan” by the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) led by Norway, the World Bank and the UNDP played a key role in the conference.

The war-torn region of Southern Sudan was the central concern to the participants who emphasised a need to co-ordinate efforts towards reconstructing the region’s heavily damaged infrastructure.

Participants highlighted a need for the harmonisation of efforts, co-ordination of programmes and improved efficiency between the international actors that are active in Southern Sudan, as essential in order to assist the distressed region.

“Darfur must not become an excuse for hesitant or piecemeal support for the recovery of the rest of Sudan – any more than sustaining the peace in the south can be an excuse for failing to rescue the people of Darfur,” said United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

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Prime Minister Bondevik (centre) with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (left) and Sudan’s Vice-President Ali Osman Taha (right)Photo:  Ministry of Foreign Affairs