Second European Covid-19 aid flight arrives in Khartoum

The European Commissioner for Crisis Management and Humanitarian Aid Janez Lenarčič will visit Sudan today. He will accompany the second EU coronavirus aid flight to Sudan. The international ‘Sudan Partnership Conference’ will be held via video conferencing in Berlin tomorrow.

(European Union)

The European Commissioner for Crisis Management and Humanitarian Aid Janez Lenarčič visits Sudan today. He accompanies the second European Union's coronavirus humanitarian aid flight to Sudan that arrived earlier today. An international ‘Sudan Partnership Conference’ will be held via video conferencing in the German capital Berlin tomorrow.

The European Commissioner will meet with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok to discuss international and humanitarian support for Sudan.

He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Carina Andersson, the Africa and Middle East Director of the Swedish Red Cross, and the  Secretary General of the international NGO Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland. He symbolically represents the return to Sudan of humanitarian organisations that were forced out during the Al Bashir regime about 10 years ago.

The first EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight arrived in Khartoum two weeks ago. It contained 90 tons medical equipment, vaccines, water purifiers, medical kits, medicine, and medical staff protective equipment. The second flight also brought 35 humanitarian workers, who will boost the medical and humanitarian service delivery in Sudan.

Sudan Partnership Conference

An international ‘Sudan Partnership Conference’ will be held via video conferencing in the German capital Berlin tomorrow. More than 40 countries and international institutions will participate, among them the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA, the European Union, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Sudan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, representatives of the G20, the African Union, the League of Arab States, the east African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and international financial institutions such as the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The conference will be chaired by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. It will also be addressed by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas, the Sudanese Minister of Finance and Planning Ibrahim El Badawi, and the Sudanese Minister of Labour and Social Development Lina El Sheikh.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Khartoum, Ulrich Klöckner, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that all preparations for the conference have been completed. In an interview from Khartoum yesterday, Klöckner said that the conference attracts “high-level international attention”.

Economic stability

The conference aims to create partnerships between Sudan and the international community in order to achieve economic stability, advance development and strengthen democratic transformation efforts in the country. It will focus on economic reforms, the family support programme, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and mitigating the social impact of the pandemic in Sudan.

The Sudanese government seeks to create through this conference a true partnership with the world to achieve peace, economic reform, building an infrastructure, projects to raise production and reconstruction programmes. In November last year the Friends of Sudan agreed to finance Sudan’s 2020 budget. In February Finance Minister Ibrahim El Badawi presented the Sudanese government’s efforts on economic reform and provided an update of the peace process at a meeting of the Friends of Sudan in Stockholm, Sweden. The aim of the meeting was to explore how the international community can best support Sudan’s transitional government in its efforts to achieve peace, and promote economic recovery and development.

EU Ambassador

The head of the EU Mission in Sudan, Ambassador Robert van den Dool, told Radio Dabanga from Khartoum that “the conference is a good opportunity to provide political and economic support to Sudan in a more comprehensive manner to achieve stability and peace, respect for human rights principles, freedoms, integration of Sudan into the international community, and an economic re-launch”.

The meeting of more than 40 foreign ministers and leaders of international financial organisations and institutions in support of Sudan will also be a message to the United States of America to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the EU ambassador said.

The EU is working with Washington to remove Sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism list. Van den Dool expects that this will take place soon, so that Sudan can return to its normal status as a member of the international community and benefit from all economic benefits, such as re-gaining access to the international banking system.

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