Photographer: Ala Eldin Abdalla Mohamed


Across Sudan conflict and its aftermath have left permanent scars on bodies and lives. Conflict, landmines, airstrikes, and other actions have left thousands with life-long disabilities – and limited opportunities.

In Sudan’s Damazin, capital of Blue Nile state, UNDP support for a group of ex-combatants and others permanently affected by conflict led to the creation, training and equipping of a ‘People with Disabilities Center and Bakery’, employing 20 people. Providing income, health insurance and other benefits to staff and their families, the former fighters now support other community members living with disabilities.

                  Read more: Creating opportunities for conflict injury survivors in Blue Nile

Empowered after rejoining the workforce, the bakery and its team quickly developed a reputation for quality and hard work. This became essential when a bread shortage and inflation swept the state, depriving thousands of a staple food source.

Due to its support for ‘vulnerable’ people (the staff and their dependents), and proximity to a major student population at Blue Nile University, local authorities prioritized supplying them flour during the crisis – making them the only functioning bakery in the area.


Photo/Ala Eldin Abdalla Mohamed


Producing up to 3,000 items daily, the bakery maintained its steady output throughout the crisis. This ensured a much needed essential staple commodity remained available, and a population disproportionately impacted by conflict were supported through the crisis.

While for those benefiting from the bakery’s products, the impact is easy to see. But, for people living with disabilities (particularly landmine victims and ex-combatants), offered new opportunities and livelihoods, the results are deeper – independence, empowerment, reintegration, and a return to everyday life.


Key facts

  • Founded by ex-combatants with lifelong conflict-related injuries, the bakery provides long-term employment for 20 people with disabilities, as well as health insurance and housing support
  • With specially tailored equipment and setup, the bakery can produce up to 3,000 baked items daily, generating an income for many of staff of around SDG 48,000 (US$ 870) per year – just 11% less than the average annual income in Sudan
  • Following the success of the bakery, the former fighters began providing education and livelihood support for other community members living with disabilities, and helped establish a state-wide Council for People with Disabilities – who successfully secured legislative changes to protect disability rights at a state level


UNDP’s work in Blue Nile is part of its Community Security and Stabilization Programme (C2SP), which supports communities and people in six states most impacted by, or at risk of becoming involved, in conflict. Overall C2SP has supported tens of thousands across Sudan with livelihood development, peacebuilding and stabilization. Its activities are made possible with generous support from Italian Development Cooperation, the Governments of Norway, Japan and Spain, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). C2SP’s work in this field forms part of UNDP’s broader livelihood and peacebuilding efforts in Sudan, with hundreds of thousands of people assisted.

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