Japan continues its contribution to the UNDP initiatives on Peace and Recovery

Apr 3, 2017

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The Government of Japan has provided new funds to UNDP for their work in Sudan. A total of USD 1,481,000 has been given to support UNDP’s peacebuilding and recovery activities in the country. USD 740,500 has been allocated to support UNDP’s Community Security and Stabilization Programme (C2SP) and preventing violent extremism initiative, while USD 740,500 has been given for the Youth Volunteers Supporting Peace and Recovery project in Darfur.

With the new financial support of Japan, the C2SP project will focus its peacebuilding and livelihoods activities on two communities in its six prioritized states - White Nile, Blue Nile, South, North, West Kordofans and Sennar that would benefit 4,000 community members, at-risk youth and vulnerable women.

Building on UNDP’s best practices from the initial Youth Volunteers Rebuilding Darfur project, the second project is a youth-focused initiative aimed at building skills and capacities of youth in micro-enterprise development, microfinance, green business planning and natural resource management to empower their own communities and play an active role in the peace and recovery processes of Darfur.  

Ambassador of Japan Hideki Ito stated: “Sudan is at a critical stage with a wonderful opportunity for lasting peace and stability. More people are now trying to recover from the effects of conflicts. This is a stage where we should help those people so that they will not be drawn into wars again, as the Government of Japan attaches great importance to the consolidation of peace, which is one of the three priorities of our assistance to the people of Sudan. I hope our new projects help Sudanese people recover from the effects of conflicts”.

High rates of unemployment amongst youth and women – particularly in the six states - make at-risk youth and vulnerable women groups prone to both engaging in armed conflict and to radicalization and violent extremism.  The C2SP project aims therefore at enhancing stability in the region and build peace by strengthening the communities’ resilience against potential conflict through the provision of socioeconomic infrastructure and assets and interventions. These not only generate household income for community members but also provide short-term/seasonal employment for IDPs and refugees, thus contributing to peace dividends for sustainable return, reintegration and recovery.

The Youth Volunteer’s project targets 8,000 youth and women in 30 communities applying new elements, such as the human security concept, to further ensure the involvement of youth in peace and decision-making processes, taking on a more people-centered and preventative approach to community resilience. The project also incorporates essential innovation on business incubation and acceleration.

H.E. Major General Abdelaziz Mohamed Abdelrahman, SDDRC Acting Commissioner General explained that "The support of Japan for Community security and Stabilization and youth and employment projects is aimed for promoting stability in conflict zones and includes displaced persons, demobilized persons, returnees from war and those affected in the targeted areas.

We are now celebrating the support of Japan for the third phase. The first phases of community security and Stabilization project activities have resulted clearly in the monitoring and evaluation that societies have become more secure and stable.

UNDP Resident Representative Marta Ruedas welcomed Japan’s present contribution to the two projects and thanked and acknowledged the contribution of the DDR Commission, the National Commission for Counter Terrorism and the State Ministries of Youth and Sports, as well as Finance in Darfur; She also thanked the Peace Centers, Civil Society Organizations and the communities for their roles and support in realizing the goals of the projects. “It is extremely important that we develop ways to channel the energies of the youth into productive activities enabling them to contribute to the stability and development of Sudan. We urge other partners to follow in their footstep to support similar initiatives that promote peace, stability and development of Sudan and the region as a whole”, she said.

Japan has been supporting C2SP since its inception in 2015. Japan has so far provided 4,500,000 USD that has helped support 15 crises-affected communities in the five States of White Nile, Blue Nile, South, North and West Kordofan, with livelihood interventions that enabled communities to transit from post-conflict recovery towards sustainable development pathways. Through 2015 – 2016, a total of 2,689 direct beneficiaries and 50,000 indirect beneficiaries were serviced, of which 51% are mixed unemployed youth, 24% are women and the remaining 25% are members of the host communities who also benefited from seasonal job opportunities created.  The implementation of the project will be carried out in consultation with the affected communities and in partnership with Sudan DDR Commission and other relevant federal institutions, state-level line ministries, local authorities and locality commissioners as well as local NGOs and CBOs. In addition, UNDP has entered into partnership with National Commission for Counter Terrorism for prevention of violent extremism.

The Youth Volunteer’s project operates with a two-step approach: first, university-graduated youth in Darfur are selected as youth volunteers and trained in micro-enterprise development, microfinance, green business planning and natural resource management. In the second step, the volunteers are deployed to live with their communities for nine months as trainers and community peace and development agents, sharing their skills and knowledge with community members.  Since its inception, the project has trained 355 youth volunteers (43% female) to date who in-turn supported the empowerment of 26,565 vulnerable community members (43% female) by improving their knowledge and skills through training in business and environmental management as well as providing small grants. This enabled them to start and expand small businesses and ultimately improve their livelihoods. 277 microenterprises have been established and expanded in an environmentally sustainable way through the small grant challenge, creating 500 jobs. By January 2017, 155 youth volunteers (41% female) were formally employed by leading institutions and organizations such as state ministries, UN agencies, NGOs and some of them have successfully started their own business.

This project is a new and improved phase developed in line with the recommendations of the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultations (DIDC) and a Youth Needs Survey conducted by UNDP in Darfur in September, 2016.   The project is being implemented by consultation and partnership with Government of Sudan (Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Finance, the Peace Centers in Darfur, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), community leaders and the Private Sector.

 

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For more information on Japan’s support and United Nations Development Programmes in Sudan, please contact Ms. Yusra Salim, Communication Analyst, UNDP, yusra.salim@undp.org.

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