World donors pledge more than 2 billion euros in aid for war-stricken Sudan

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French President Emmanuel Macron, (second right), French Foreign Stephane Sejourne, (second left), EU commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell pose at an international conference on Sudan on April 15 in Paris. (AP)

PARIS, April 16, (AP): French President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday that world donors are pledging more than 2 billion euros in aid for Sudan after a yearlong war that has pushed its population to the brink of famine.
Macron spoke at the end of an international conference in Paris aimed at drumming up support for Sudan’s people. He did not give a detailed timeline or breakdown of the funding.
In a final statement, top diplomatic envoys, UN officials and aid agencies gathered at the conference also urged Sudan’s warring parties to stop rights violations and allow access for humanitarian aid. Members of Sudan’s civil society took part in the Paris meeting, but neither the Sudanese army nor its rival paramilitary were represented.
Sudan descended into conflict in April last year when simmering tensions between the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces exploded into open fighting in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere across the country.
Macron called it “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world,” that has created a ‘’real risk of famine.”
The United Nations’ humanitarian campaign needs some $2.7 billion this year to get food, health care and other supplies to 24 million people in Sudan – nearly half its population of 51 million. So far, funders have given only $145 million, about 5%, according to the UN’s humanitarian office, known as OCHA.
After Monday’s conference, Macron said, ‘’We are today at 2 billion euros for Sudan.”
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to donate generously and support the UN life-saving efforts to help Sudanese people, trapped in the “nightmare of bloodshed.”
More than 14,000 people have been killed and at least 33,000 have been wounded in a yearlong war. Nearly 9 million people have been forced to flee their homes either to safer areas inside Sudan or to neighboring countries, according to the UN. Hunger, sexual violence against women and girls and continued displacement are rampant and much of the country’s infrastructure – homes, hospitals and schools – has been reduced to rubble.
“We cannot let this nightmare slide from view,” Guterres said in a video message to the Paris conference.
“It’s time to support the Sudanese people. It’s time to silence the guns,” he added.
French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said the aim of the conference was to mobilize humanitarian funding to help Sudanese people, who have been victims of both a “terrible war” and “international indifference.”
“It’s a colossal task,” Sejourne said. “It’s a war the Sudanese people did not want, a war that only produces chaos and suffering.”

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