Participants at an international donors conference in Norway have pledged nearly $5 billion in aid to Sudan to help bolster a 2005 peace deal in the African nation.

A senior World Bank official, Hartwig Schafer, announced at the end of conference Wednesday that preliminary pledges total $4.8 billion. He said the aid will help benefit peace in Sudan and have a ripple effect in the region.

Representatives from several countries and international organizations gathered for the three-day conference in Oslo to raise funds to support peace efforts in Sudan.

Delegates to the conference were assessing Sudan's progress toward implementing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. They agreed progress has been made, but that much still needs to be done.

The peace deal ended 21 years of civil war between Sudan's north and south that killed an estimated two million people. The agreement remains in force but has been strained by disputes centered on the oil-rich Abyei region.

A previous donors conference in 2005 raised $4.5 billion for Sudan.

Some of that money was used for humanitarian relief in Sudan's Darfur region, where the government continues to fight rebel groups.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.