375 Sea Port Ex- Workers in the Red Sea State celebrate the startup of 15 Small Businesses

Nov 26, 2015

Port Sudan, The Government of the Red Sea State, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sudan, and two national NGOs Reyada for Capacity Building, Studies and Consultations and Asnyan Local NGO awarded today, 15 winning Small innovative Businesses for 375 Sea Port Ex-Workers within UNDP Sudan Project of “Small Business for Sea Port Ex- workers Communities at Red Sea State”.

The Small Business Idea Competition comes as part of UNDP’s partnership with Reyada NGO to undertake a comprehensive Skills and Business Capacities Upgrading Programme transforming the sea port ex- workers into micro-entrepreneurs. The 375 are amongst 1,771 Sea Port Ex-Workers and their families who received vocational & entrepreneurial skills, being formed in Small Business Groups within 15 Community Based Organizations and receiving access to finance.

Unemployment is one of the top serious challenges in Red Sea state where more than 1.4 million reside. The State which has the second highest urbanization rate after Khartoum, is among the poorest five states.

The recently introduced mechanized port-processing facilities in Port Sudan harbour has led to a dramatic loss in urban employment opportunities and has decreased the need of manual labour and job opportunities for 30,000 of unskilled sea workers.

Responding to this continuing challenge, ‘Small Business for Sea Port Ex- workers Communities’ Project aims to provide alternative income and employment opportunities for sea port ex-workers in Red Sea State

Starting  with 771 beneficiaries in 2013, the project  has doubled the number of targeted communities to recover their livelihoods at the household and community level through diversified economic opportunities, improved vocational and business capacities, and increased access to Microfinance and business development. The Project strengthened the already established groups within their local structures, enabling them to effectively contribute to the process of recovery of more community individuals to join the group to develop and sustain their livelihood.

Today, the project celebrates the award ceremony of Small Business Ideas Competition in which 34 projects have been received by Reyada  and 15 projects have been selected by an independent panel as winners for the Competition. Whilst the project is providing fund to the winning businesses, the project managed to make a breakthrough leveraging on its partnership with the Family Bank and managed to avail financing for all the rest of the small businesses. All winning business were also awarded free of charge membership in Red Sea Businessmen Association.

The Wali of Red Sea State Mr. Ali Ahmed Hamad affirmed that “ Red Sea State’s strategy main focus is to combat poverty through the creation of business opportunities and this is where UNDP perfectly fits in. The workers have served Sudan for a very long time but progress and modernization are inevitable but progress should not come on the expense of people’s livelihoods. This is why we strongly support this project.     

UNDP project manager Ahmed Al-Haj stated that “ This project is a result of successful cooperation that involves UNDP, national organizations and local grassroots organizations that are working together to combat poverty and ensure community’s resilience.  The ex-workers have previously  supported  Sudan’s economy working in the port and will continue to contribute to Sudan’s welfare as small business owners. “

As the Project is ending in February 2016, the Project will succeed in opening a new avenue for more than 1771 ex-harbor workers and their female family members to find a new way to make a living.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

For media queries, kindly contact: Team Coordinator Partnerships & Communications, Ms. Yusra Salim email: yusra.salim@undp.org