Darfur donor conference raises $3.6 bn

A Darfur donor conference has raised $3.6 billion in pledges to finance the development of Sudan's war-striken Darfur region, a Qatari minister announced on Monday.

"We have got (pledges of) $3.646 billion," Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud told reporters, wrapping up a two-day conference in support of a six-year strategy to rebuild Darfur.

The figure includes commitments undertaken by the Khartoum government under a peace deal signed in July 2011, he said.

Participants put the figure of Sudan's commitment at around $2.5 billion.

The conference sought support for a development strategy requiring $7.2 billion (5.5 billion euros) to move Darfur away from food handouts and other emergency aid, laying the foundation for lasting development through improved water facilities, roads and other infrastructure.