Khartoum — Japan has committed an additional $4.22 million towards the United Nations Development Programme's peace, stability, and economic recovery efforts in Sudan, which will assist 45,000 vulnerable people across seven states. This grant, announced in a statement by the UNDP this week, follows a similar grant made a year ago, and takes the funding programme by Japan into its seventh year.
The UNDP points out that the programme, which will assist 15 of Sudan's most at-risk localities in Blue Nile, White Nile, South Kordofan, West Kordofan, North Kordofan, Sennar, and Khartoum states, is in line with the priorities of Sudan's Transitional Government and the mandate of the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS),
Japanese Ambassador to Sudan, Takashi Hattori, outlined the new priorities: "It is imperative not only to fulfil the urgent needs of these people, but also provide underlying foundations to increase the sustainability of their lives by enhancing productivity and skills."
Ambassador Hattori added: "Activities in this project, for example livelihood support that will assist with ongoing economic challenges including COVID-19, and help build better the resilience of communities, are the ultimate goal of the transitional government. The project is also in line with Japan's development policy to Africa, namely NAPSA (New Approach for the Peace and Stability in Africa), aiming for consolidation of peace and stability across Sudan."
Broadly, the assistance will focus on vulnerable populations, including host communities, displaced people, refugees, women, and youth. Key elements include job creation, agricultural and livestock production, improved access to energy, youth-specific opportunities, community infrastructure and assets, community management initiatives, and peacebuilding training.
Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Sudan and Head of UNITAMS, thanked the government of Japan: "Stability at the community level is crucial to peace and development. This generous contribution from Japan will ensure people are further supported by the UN with real opportunities via rural development, access to basic services and peacebuilding."
Perthes says that the contribution from Japan complements the efforts of UNITAMS with the UN Country Team "to strengthen coordination of peacebuilding work via the Sudan Peace-making, Peacebuilding and Stabilisation Programme."
Delivered in partnership with Sudan Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC), rural development will focus on access to food and services through environmentally sustainable activities like rain-fed agriculture, while infrastructure and assets will include markets, roads, tractors, harvesters, and solar technology.
The SDDRC Commissioner General, Maj Gen Abdelrahman Abdalmid, also voiced appreciation: "We thank Japan and UNDP for being a consistent and trusted partner. With this additional support, we will be able to substantially contribute to stability and development and assist many of the most vulnerable."