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Sudan Raises $3.55 Billion to Develop Eastern Region

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Sudan received pledges for $3.55 billion to help develop the impoverished east of the country at a two-day conference in Kuwait, short of the $4 billion it sought to raise.

“Most of those who made pledges did not specify certain projects,” Mostafa Osman Ismail, an adviser to Sudan’s president, said in Kuwait City today. “Most of the pledges are for developmental and infrastructure projects. Pledges made for investments weren’t a lot.”

Kuwait’s government promised $500 million, Iran said it would contribute $200 million and China pledged $35 million, Ismail told reporters at the conference in which 42 countries participated. Britain’s promised $70 million, while the European Commission pledged about $35 million, he said. The Sudanese government has said it will contribute $1.57 billion.

The government aimed to attract foreign investors for a set of projects valued at $2 billion, while another $2 billion was needed in loans and grants, Osman said on Nov. 28.

The Islamic Development Bank pledged $200 million, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development promised $210 million and the Arab Investment Guarantee Organization put in $300 million.

Sudan’s government pledged to develop eastern Sudan in a 2006 peace agreement it signed with rebels there. The region hosts almost 80,000 registered refugees from Sudan’s eastern neighbors, mainly Eritreans, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dahlia Kholaif in Kuwait at dkholaif@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Louis Meixler at lmeixler@bloomberg.net.

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