Mr Chairman, excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
Like others I would like to congratulate the government of Kuwait and the Government of Sudan for organizing this very important conference.
As this conference has highlighted, eastern Sudan has high potential but is a neglected area with extremely poor development indicators.
Regional development will enhance the livelihoods of the local population, diversify and increase the national economy, and strengthen regional trade.
USAID has provided almost $10 million annually for the east through the UN international organizations as well as Sudanese NGOs, providing food security, water, sanitation and also demining assistance.
Agriculture is clearly a key driver for development in the east.
Once Sudan's granary, much of the east has strong potential to improve subsistence agriculture and
export oriented agriculture.
We believe that agriculture in the east could serve as one of the most important foundations for building sustainable livelihoods especially for women, for the region and potentially providing substantial agricultural
exports destined for east african and middle eastern markets.
In the 1980s USAID was the largest donor in Sudan providing assistance for the agriculture sector.
Given the right circumstances, we would look to again expand our assistance in agriculture again including in the east.
Like others we are encouraged by the recent announcement from the government lifting travel restrictions in the east and we look forward to getting out there as quickly as we can.
In conclusion USAID is pleased and honoured to be able participate with all of you in this important conference
and to hear from the many interested public- and private-sector partners especially those from the arab world.
The United States encourages Arab partners to play a leading role in assisting all parts of Sudan - including the east, in the post-CPA period.
The USA charges d'affair in Sudan visited eastern Sudan just a few weeks ago, as we heard from his Canadian colleague, and USAid plans to send technical teams soon with our government colleagues.
Like others we would encourage the government of Sudan to organize an ongoing coordinating form in Khartoum for recovery and development programs in the east as follow up to this important conference.
We look forward to engaging in this process to the fullest extent possible
Closing Session - Part 1. Starting 4:30 mark.