1 October 2020, Khartoum: Yesterday in Khartoum, the Italian Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a project technical agreement – “Building Youth Inclusion in Sudan” – with EUR 2,272,500.00 provided by the Italian Cooperation to counter and mitigate the risk of the most vulnerable and marginalised in Khartoum’s Mayo area joining violent extremist groups.

Signed in the presence of the Ambassador of Italy Gianluigi Vassallo, UNDP Resident Representative, Selva Ramachandran, and the Head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Khartoum, Vincenzo Racalbuto, the project will operate over a three-year period in partnership with the Sudan National Commission for Counter Terrorism (SNCCT).

In his remarks, the Italian Ambassador, Gianluigi Vassallo, highlighted Italy’s key role in preventing the spread of violent extremism and maintaining stability in Mayo, one of Khartoum’s most vulnerable districts, noting the Italian Government’s concentrated and on-going community stabilisation efforts in the area, particularly within the framework of the Partnering Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) programme.

UNDP Resident Representative, Selva Ramachandran, said: “As Sudan’s transition takes place, now is more critical than ever that efforts are made to support and empower at-risk people, particularly youth. The generous support from the Italian Government will play a vital role in working towards these goals, having a direct impact on some of Khartoum’s most vulnerable.”

After signing the technical agreement, Vincenzo Racalbuto, Head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Khartoum, underscored that the Italian Cooperation is committed to improving living conditions for the Mayo population through a number of projects. He added that with “Building Youth Inclusion in Sudan”, the Agency aspires to have a profound impact on the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in the area.

In the next three years, the project will carry out youth income creation activities, support economic revitalisation and development, and stimulate the local economy with community-based socio-economic infrastructure. Additionally, it will advocate for better preparedness and reduce risk against possible disasters, particularly flooding, while developing youth and community management committees to locally guide project efforts, and coordinate with local authorities to address violent extremism trends among youth with socio-economic activities, community policing, and awareness raising.

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