Sudan: Western and Arab Countries Promise U.S.$1.5 Billion to Help Cash-Strapped Sudan

(file photo).

Western and Arab countries promised to contribute $1.5 billion to ease Sudan's financial crisis at an online conference hosted by Germany.

Thursday's event aimed to help Sudan's transitional government move toward democracy following last year's ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is sharing power with the military, said his country is in dire need of an infusion of international support.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the pledges are not a matter of generosity.

He said it is a matter of enlightened self-interest -- not only because the Sudanese people deserve it, but because the world needs a stable, democratic Sudan. He added it is a factor of democracy and stability in Africa and in the broader Middle East.

Event officials said the European Union, the United States, Germany, France and Britain pledged hundreds of millions of dollars for humanitarian and development programs.

Saudi Arabia, which said it donated $500 million to Sudan over the past year, pledged only $10 million. The United Arab Emirates donated $50 million.

Sudan has struggled to stay solvent since losing much of its oil resources to South Sudan, which seceded in 2011.

The U.S. classification of Sudan as state sponsor of terrorism under ousted leader Omar al-Bashir may have also hampered the country's chance of attracting international financial support.

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