H.E. Hans Henric Lundquist Ambassador of Sweden to Sudan with Dr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Resident Representative in Sudan during the handover ceremony. Photo/UNDP

 

Sweden along with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) assured to promote long-term development solutions to the economic regeneration of Sudan, which is vital at the moment. Sweden views that the development solutions need to be inclusive, taking youth, women, and displaced populations into consideration, especially in the conflict-affected areas. It is widely recognised all the parties that stability and development are key to Sudan to succeed in transition. Sweden has partnered with UNDP, Government of Sudan organs like the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Social Development and Labour, SDDRC, state governors, but with emphasis on community ownership of development.

The present venture aims at bridging the gap between development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding. The interventions primarily aim to target unemployed youth with conflict carrying capacities, host communities and other community members such as women and displaced populations. The interventions are owned and implemented through community management committees so as to include all sections of people including host communities, unemployed youth, and displaced population.

On the 6th of November 2019, a symbolic handover ceremony took place in Freedom Square, Khartoum, to witness Sweden’s commitment in supporting the transition of Sudan through economic development and peacebuilding. Economic assets such as tractors, trailers, threshers, wild level disks, engine oil cartons, tractors’ spare parts and implements, and lifter jacks for agriculture intervention were handed over by Sweden to the communities through state governments and relevant government institutions  in five states of Blue Nile, Sennar, South Kordofan, West Kordofan, and North Kordofan states. This intervention will bring a large stretch of lands into cultivation, increase food productivity, build value chains, enhance employment and aid in economic regeneration.

UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Selva Ramachandran has stated that “I’m very happy this time with the presence of this gathering especially at a  juncture when Sudan is witnessing a rapid transformation. It gives me an immense pleasure to join hands with such a wide spectrum of stakeholders ranging from sovereign council, ministers, state walis, CSOs and international partners. This kind of partnership is very vital during this transitional phase. We always recognize that economic development is the key of Sudan.”

Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Hans Henric Lundquist said “Today’s event is just another example of Sweden, the United Nations, and other international donors to support the transitional government and the Sudanese people. We are stepping up our collaboration and assistance and I am very happy to see concrete results today. With this programme, we take a holistic approach on peacebuilding to strengthening resilience which means the ability of communities and people to cope with recovery, adaptation and change.”

State Governor of South Kordofan, H.E. Rashad Abdel Hamid stated:”This project is important as it serves the society in those states that live in exceptional circumstances after a war and delay in the development process.”

Sudan DDR Commission, Commissioner General, Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid Ibrahim stated “We are extremely happy with the achievement and the tangible results out of the agricultural activities that have been implemented in the states. Today we are celebrating that we received the agricultural equipment from Sweden.”

Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Eissa Osman Sharif said “Peace is the key to restoring Sudan to its natural position because of its natural resources that help achieve food security. Agriculture is the backbone of the Sudanese economy and by providing all the services required to organize producers and move to the community, the agricultural sector was reorganized and a unit was formed in the ministry to organize agriculture producers.”

Sovereign Council H.E. Raga Nikola Abd Elmasih announced the support of the sovereignty council for a project and said that “Government is determined to fix the imbalance in the agricultural sector, calling for this project to cover all the states of Sudan and work to develop agricultural capacities. The support of the Kingdom of Sweden is an important link to supporting farmers to increase production and productivity.”

Sweden’s contribution ensures that the Government of Sudan and UNDP Sudan will be able to continue to create positive impacts in local economic development, bringing many thousands of acres of land under cultivation, involvement of private sector, employment to youth, seasonal employment to displaced population, peacebuilding among the communities, value chains and promotion of markets.

Through the project, UNDP also addresses climate issues in some areas. The deteriorating environmental conditions in these states, including deforestation and soil degradation negatively affect the agricultural efforts. The programme raises awareness on sustainable agricultural results and ecological irrigation schemes to mitigate the harshest environmental conditions through launching community-based awareness campaigns. The interventions also aim to reduce the dependence on diesel and promote alternative and renewable energy resources.

Rehabilitation and construction of irrigation canals in the three targeted areas in White Nile state (Alagaya, Juda, and Alwarad) enable and generate more and stable income as the establishment of wider irrigation schemes allows to expand agricultural land and increase food security in addition to securing seasonal job opportunities for the members of the communities. The expansion of agricultural land will also yield larger and more predictable production while reducing competition over land and will answer to the need of private sector actors allowing the creation of value chain, which will in return, increase the communities’ profit.

The project creates partnerships between Sweden and UNDP Sudan along with the Government of Sudan, SDDRC, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Social Development and Labour and all state governments.

For Sudan to stabilise and develop during the transition, such partnerships are important and critical which aim at employment creation for youth and vulnerable community members to see that nobody is left behind during transition.

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