9 June 2021: Recently, a US$41.2m climate-resilient rural development and water programme across nine states commenced with the inaugural board meeting hosted by the Sudan Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR), with Director Generals of State Ministries of Agriculture, and Production, and representatives from the Federal Ministries of Finance, Irrigation, Animal Resources, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Officials discussed priority initiatives and immediate needs for the 3.7m people – primarily vulnerable farmers and nomadic communities – who will receive support from the project, made possible by substantial financing from the Green Climate Fund.
Focused on improving the resilience of local communities and livelihood opportunities in the face of climate change impacts, and enhancing health, food and water security, the programme will support 138 villages across West, Central, and East Darfur, West and South Kordofan, the Eastern states of Kassala and Red Sea, as well as Northern and Khartoum states.
Opening the meeting, Prof. Rashid Mekki Hassan, Secretary-General of HCENR, said: “The impacts of a changing climate put Sudan’s agricultural and environmental assets at risk, and threaten lives and communities. By investing in projects to safeguard our natural assets, we can protect our environment, and the futures for those who rely on our vital agriculture and livestock sectors.”
Yuri Afanasiev, UNDP Sudan Resident Representative, said: “Efforts like this are critical for economic recovery, generating sustainable and green livelihoods, and building climate resilience for millions of Sudan’s most vulnerable, making progress towards peace and stability. I commend the Government partners for their support, and the impact it will have for so many.”
Over a period of five years, the project will provide training and equipment, rehabilitate land for sustainable use, introduce new climate-smart practices, and construct infrastructure such as wells, dams, and water storage devices. Funding and contributions are being made by the Green Climate Fund - its first grant to Sudan – as well as Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and UNDP.