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Donors Conference Approves Qatar's Proposal of Establishing Darfur Development Bank

Govt. Qatar
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Cairo/QNA/21 March 2010/ The International Conference of donors for the reconstruction and development of Darfur approved Qatar's proposal to establish a development bank in Darfur, Sudan, to fulfill the commitments for the development and reconstruction of Darfur . This came in the final statement issued at the conclusion of the donors conference in Cairo on Sunday. Qatar's deleagtion to the meeting was chaired by H.E. the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abul Gheit said Sunday the total value of aid pledged by international donors for Darfur, west Sudan, reached $ 841 million. "The aid will be offered in the form of direct assistances or in cash," Abul Gheit said in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu and Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu after the international donors conference for the reconstruction of Darfur. "The donors, including Egypt, have developed mechanisms to channel the funds to the rehabilitation process in the war-ravaged region," he said, noting that the funding would go to domains such as well drilling and hospital construction. The conference approved launching a bank to collect the aid funds and direct them to the development sectors that Sudanese government specifies. "Egypt is of the view that Darfur should be the seat of the bank in order to reduce the financial costs and red tape," he noted. An agreement has been reached to assign Ihsanoglu to call a meeting for discussing the best ways to realize the targets of the suggested bank. The meeting, to be held soon, will gather representatives of the major donors, the OIC, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and of course Sudan, Abul Gheit disclosed. "Darfur, which has undergone a great catastrophe, which prompted us all to offer every possible help," the minister said, noting that the problems of Egypt's southern neighbor were about to end. Abul Gheit hailed the framework deal on ceasefire in Darfur signed recently by the Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the major armed group in the region. He voiced hope that the planned general elections in Sudan would help stabilize the troubled region and give the promise of security and stability for all Sudanese people, including those in Darfur. He also hoped that the referendum on self-determination of southern Sudan would go smoothly and calmly and open a new era of stability and prosperity for the entire country. The referendum will be held in January, 2011, pursuant to the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA or Naivasha Agreement), signed by the Sudanese government and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)in January 2005. Meanwhile, Davutoglu said Turkey would pursue supporting Sudan and Darfur. "Today Ankara has contributed $ 70 million in aid for Darfur in addition to the previous $150 million," the foreign minister disclosed. For his part, the OIC Chief Ihsanoglu hailed that outcome of the conference which built on the results of the previous conferences jointly organized by the Arab League and the OIC. The aid pledges will help translate the decisions of the previous conferences into action and realize genuine economic development in the region, he affirmed. The OIC chief highly appreciated the contributions of major international donors such as the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, as well as the EU members.