Creating new perspectives since 2009

Sudan to get pledges of over 1bn euros at aid conference, claims source

April 15, 2024 at 12:30 pm

Protesters hold anti-war placards during the demonstration on 29 April 2023, in London, UK [Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

An aid conference in Paris to generate funds for Sudan will hopefully raise “well over a billion euros,” a French diplomatic source said on Monday. The US, EU, France and Germany are making fresh commitments, Reuters has reported.

The EU will pledge €350 million, while France will add €110m, said three sources. The US, meanwhile, is expected to pledge a total of $147m, they added. Germany pledged €244m on Monday.

“I hope it will be well over a billion euros,” the French diplomatic source said, without specifying where the rest of the money will come from.

The pledges come on the first anniversary of the start of the civil war in Sudan. According to Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, “We can manage together to avoid a terrible famine catastrophe, but only if we get active together now.” She added that, in the worst-case scenario, one million people in Sudan could die of hunger this year.

The US is hoping that the Paris conference could loosen purse strings elsewhere.

At Monday’s meeting, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné was joined by top EU diplomat Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič. “It is obvious that the series of crises — I am thinking of Gaza and Ukraine — have pushed the Sudanese crisis into the background”, said Séjourné.

French President Emmanuel Macron was scheduled to meet Borrell and Lenarčič at the end of the conference, according to the EU’s external action office.

The war in Sudan broke out on 15 April last year between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). It has devastated infrastructure, prompted warnings of famine and displaced millions of people inside and outside Sudan.

Thousands of civilians have been killed, although death toll estimates are very uncertain, and each side has been accused of committing war crimes. Both have largely denied the accusations against them.

The World Health Organisation warned on Friday that the crisis could worsen in the coming months as the distribution of humanitarian aid and medical supplies remains restricted.

Last week, US Special Envoy Tom Perriello called the international response “pitiful” so far. “We’re at five per cent of the needed amount,” he said, adding that the US had already committed over a billion dollars in humanitarian relief to Sudan.

READ: Are Iran drones turning the tide of Sudan civil war?