Sudan’s irrigation and water resources ministry and the United Nations launched a US$1-billion cash appeal on 27 June 2011 to help reverse the rapid decline in Darfur’s water supplies, seen as one the key drivers in the region’s conflict. The region has witnessed a demographic explosion in the past few decades combined with more frequent droughts.
Organisers of the Water for Sustainable Peace conference held in Khartoum from 27-28 June 2011, say the money they hope to raise will fund 65 different water-related projects, the bulk of which (59 per cent / US$ $636 million) will cover implementation of 20 major projects, over a six year period.
While two-thirds of the projects relate to water resources and WASH infrastructure, the remainder will promote conflict mitigation, sustainable livelihoods, peace-building and capacity-building.
The Sudanese government plans to contribute US$ 216 million to the projects, as part of a package for development in Darfur amounting to US$ 1.9 billion in the next four years.
Since the start of the conflict in Darfur in 2003, at least 300,000 people have killed and 1.9 million people have fled their homes. In 2011, fighting has displaced about 70,000 people, according to the United Nations.