Sweden gives 100 million kronor to UN in Sudan

Sweden said on Wednesday that it would give 100 million kronor in development aid to support the United Nations' work in conflict-ridden Sudan.

“The conditions allowing aid to reach people throughout (Sudan) have improved. This development is positive and we want to support it and the UN mission by increasing the resources,” said Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) official Ulrika Josefsson.

“The need for aid in Sudan is enormous, and the sums needed are astronomical. In this context our pledge may not make a huge dent, but it’s a lot of money for us,” Josefsson said.

In the western region of Darfur alone, the need for aid is pressing, after a two-year conflict between rebels, government forces and pro-Khartoum militia that has killed between 180,000 and 300,000 people and displaced more than two million.

Josefsson insisted on the importance of providing aid to all of Sudan.

“The previous split (of the country) has obstructed an effective coordination (of aid) for all of Sudan,” she said.

Sida said on Wednesday that of Sweden’s 100 million kronor, 50 million will go to southern Sudan, 17 million will go to Darfur, 23 million will go to the rest of the country and 10 million will be used to coordinate the aid.

Sweden’s new pledge brings the Scandinavian country’s contribution to Sudan this year to about 175 million kronor, and increases its long-term pledges to the war-torn country to about 250 million kronor, Josefsson told AFP.