Khartoum, November 11, 2019 - The Government of Switzerland, acting through the Embassy of Switzerland in Khartoum, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed an agreement under which Switzerland will contribute 2 million USD to scale up UNDP’s livelihoods activities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur for the next three years (2019-2022). This comes as part of Switzerland's engagement in providing livelihood support which has been ongoing for years.
Switzerland's contribution, together with UNDP’s own resources, will be directed to build on the success of UNDP’s flagship livelihoods program in Darfur – rebranded as the Strengthening Livelihoods Security for Peace and Recovery in Darfur (L4P Initiative).
Swiss Ambassador Dr. Daniel Cavegn said: “We are very satisfied with the outcomes of the previous livelihood UNDP projects in Darfur. L4P is in line with the priorities of Sudan in the transition period, namely development and peace. We are looking forward to seeing the concrete impact of this project in the daily lives of many households in Darfur.”
The project is currently in the second phase of its implementation across Darfur’s five states in collaboration with the Government of Sudan through the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the private sector.
After 15 years of conflict in Darfur, over 1.8 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) remain stranded in camps, relying hugely on humanitarian aid whilst some thousands are returning to devasted communities with no hope of a future on sight. Protracted aid dependency has eroded productive capacities and aspirations of the people. Over the last year, there has been a strong drive by Government and the International Community to transition from relief to recovery and development. However, concrete transitional programmatic responses and funding have remained limited. As the draw-down of the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) progresses, in the midst of the current socio-economic crises, the need to step up recovery initiatives with a focus on revamping local economic recovery to consolidate fragile peace and preventing relapse into conflict has become crucial if not urgent.
The Strengthening Livelihoods for Peace and Recovery in Darfur (L4P) aims at enhancing the resilience of conflict-affected communities by improving livelihoods and economic recovery as key drivers of peace and social cohesion. It is an evidence-based project developed based on a tried and tested model, drawing on lessons learned from the previous phase. An independent evaluation of the first phase, conducted in 2018, indicated a very strong impact, demonstrated the positive correlation between livelihood interventions and local peace both at the community and household levels and strongly recommended scaling up.
Using a pro-poor value chain and market-based approach, the project will strengthen the self-reliance and resilience of IDPs, returnees and host communities, thereby reducing their vulnerabilities and the need for humanitarian aid. The integrated project will restore productive capacities by enhancing access to productive assets and markets, enhance peaceful and collaborative access to natural resources whilst strengthening institutional capacities to lead and sustain recovery and development in Darfur. L4P will be implemented in 30 communities within 5 States of Darfur, targeting 15,000 households over the next 3 years.
With financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the first phase of the project, which was implemented in 2016-2017, created a positive impact on living conditions in conflict-affected communities. Over the two-year period, the project demonstrated strong results in improving the lives of individual households as well as in creating a wider community impact.
The project successfully stabilized conflict-affected communities and improved the livelihoods and local socio-economic recovery of more than 97,974 IDPs, returnees and host community members (about 16,329 direct households) of which 53% were female. The project also indirectly impacted some estimated 293,922 people in the targeted communities through access to infrastructure and peacebuilding activities.
“This generous contribution from the Government of Switzerland will enable UNDP to carry on its cohesive set of interventions to support economic recovery in Darfur through reviving productive capacities and market access for some of the region’s most vulnerable groups, including women, youth and IDPs”, said Selva Ramachandran, the Resident Representative of UNDP in Sudan. “The beauty of the Darfur Livelihoods Programme is that it moves away from the humanitarian path over to the recovery path. We thank the government of Switzerland for its continued support to this project since its inception." he added.
The Government of Switzerland has been one of the biggest donors to the Livelihoods interventions for peace, recovery and development in Darfur, having already financially supported phase 1 and 2 of the project.
UNDP and Switzerland have been longstanding partners across the world and will continue working in close collaboration towards accelerating Peace and Development in Darfur and in Sudan as a whole.
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.
About Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC):
The mandate of Swiss Humanitarian Aid is to save lives and alleviate suffering. It is active in protecting the interests of vulnerable population groups before, during, and after periods of conflict, crises, or natural disasters. Swiss Humanitarian Aid is active in the following sectors: reconstruction and rehabilitation of disaster-stricken areas, disaster-risk reduction, protection of vulnerable population groups, and emergency aid.
For more information, please contact: UNDP : Ms. Yusra Salim, Communication Analyst, UNDP Sudan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swiss Embassy: National Programme Officer Nemtalla Shawgi email@example.com