Turkish deputy PM to visit Sudan's Darfur for 'biggest' aid project

Turkish deputy PM to visit Sudan's Darfur for 'biggest' aid project

KHARTOUM - Agence France-Presse
Turkey's deputy prime minister is to visit Sudan's troubled Darfur region this week to open what is likely Ankara's largest-ever foreign aid project, the Turkish ambassador said Feb. 24.
Ravaged by 11 years of government-rebel warfare along with inter-Arab violence that worsened last year, Darfur has a severe shortage of health workers, a lack of infrastructure, and food scarcity.

Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah İşler is to be accompanied on the Darfur visit by Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu.

A $50-million research and training hospital will be formally inaugurated in Nyala, Sudan's second-largest city and the capital of South Darfur state, ambassador Cemalettin Aydın told AFP.

Ankara has allocated a further $58 million for running the hospital jointly with Sudan over the next five years before a planned handover to Sudanese management, he said.

The project is "maybe the biggest all over the world that Turkey has had in terms of development aid," Aydın said.

İşler is to arrive in Sudan late Feb. 26 ahead of the hospital's formal opening on Feb. 28 in Nyala, and will also hold talks with Sudanese officials, the ambassador said.