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Eastern Sudan Gets $3.5 Billion in Development Pledges

Donors and investors have pledged $3.55 billion dollars to develop the impoverished eastern part of Sudan.

Officials say a two-day donors' conference hosted by Kuwait resulted in pledges of $500 million from Kuwait, $200 million from Iran, and $35 million from China.

Pledges from institutions include $200 million from the Islamic Development Bank and $300 million from the Arab Investment Guarantee Organization.

The funds are to go toward infrastructure development and social services.

Sudan's government agreed to develop eastern Sudan in a 2006 peace deal it signed with rebels in the region.

The area is rich in natural resources, and contains the country's only commercial port.

The rebellion in east Sudan was separate from Sudan's long-running north-south civil war and the conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region.