December 2, 2010 / 2:30 PM / 10 years ago

Donors pledge $3.55 bln for East Sudan development

* Kuwait pledges $500 million

* Donors did not specify projects

* Britain promises $70 million

KUWAIT, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Sudan said on Thursday international donors had pledged $3.55 billion for the development of East Sudan, an area crucial to the country’s oil-driven economy, at a meeting in Kuwait.

The Sudanese government also plans to invest in the East, which contains its only commercial port and miles of pipeline. “Most of the donors did not specify the projects they are contributing to...most of the pledges were for development and infrastructure projects,” Sudanese Presidential Adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail told a news conference in Kuwait City at the donors’ meeting. The Sudanese government has pledged $1.57 billion, which includes building a dam worth $880 million, Ismail said. Last month, Ismail told Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA that East Sudan plans development projects worth about $4 billion.

Among the latest pledgers were Kuwait with $500 million, Iran with $200 million, Britain with $70 million and the European Union with 24 million euros ($31.42 million).

The Arab League pledged to fully fund the African Union peacekeepers in Darfur in 2006 but the pan-African body said most of that money did not emerge. (Reporting by Eman Goma; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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