Sweden donates 100 million kronor to Sudan

Sweden said on Wednesday that it would contribute 100 million kronor to a United Nations fund to aid the population of Sudan, caught in the grips of civil war and drought.

The UN unveiled the Sudan fund, the world’s biggest single aid and development plan, in December 2005, calling for a total of 1.7 billion dollars in donations in 2006.

In 2005, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) gave 317 million kronor in aid to Sudan, 205 million of which was humanitarian.

UN agencies have estimated that the civil war in the western Sudanese region of Darfur has left some 300,000 people dead since February 2003 and displaced about two million. Of the latter, more than 200,000 people have fled to neighbouring Chad.

A ceasefire was signed in April 2004 by the warring parties but has repeatedly been broken.

“The situation in the Darfur province and in southern Sudan is unstable. Armed conflict, drought and environmental destruction has forced more than six million people (in Darfur and the south) to flee. At the same time the security situation has deteriorated in several other regions,” Sida said.

The UN aid fund is expected to reach about 5.5 million people, and mainly be used for “food distribution, housing, healthcare and protection against violence and abuse”, Sida added.

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