The UK pledged $650 million of aid to the Sudanese government, the largest donation at the conference.

Norway said it would contribute $500 million and the EU said it would donate $345 million between 2008 and 2011 on the first day of the meeting. Japan and Germany both pledged to double their present contributions to $200 million and $29 million respectively on 7 May.

Sudan says it needs $6.1bn between 2008 and 2011 in addition to $2bn in humanitarian aid to help it recover from years of internal conflict.

In 2005, Norway helped broker a peace agreement which ended 22 years of civil war between northern and southern Sudan.

It is estimated that the ongoing conflict in Darfur has claimed 200,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million people.