The Sustainable Development Goals in Sudan
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Sudan:
22 September 2021
Aspiring to inspire others to contribute to world peace
Since the beginning of 2021, seven UN Volunteers have been deployed with the UN Peacebuilding Fund in Sudan. They are embedded in projects focusing on durable solutions, rule of law, local peacebuilding, women’s participation and natural resource governance. For International Peace Day, we meet two of these UN Volunteers. Through the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), which is the UN’s primary financial instrument to sustain peace in countries at risk of or affected by violent conflict, the UN system is supporting Sudan’s transition towards peace after decades of conflict. UN Volunteers are part of this effort. Godfrey Mukalazi (Uganda) is a UN Volunteer serving with UNDP as a Peacebuilding Project Manager. His contribution falls within Support to the Sudanese Peace Process, a project implemented by UNDP and UNHCR, in partnership with the Sudanese Peace Commission. This aims to bolster the peace process in Sudan, including through capacity-building of the national peace architecture and dissemination of the Juba Peace Agreement, signed in October 2020. Godfrey is leading state-level coordination and promoting initiatives that support peacebuilding, governance and community reconciliation. Moreover, Godfrey ensures effective information sharing, engages local peace partners and promotes gender equality and women’s participation in dialogues and peacebuilding work. My heart-warming experience is grounded in our team effort to contribute to the common good of promoting human understanding and peace. I am humbled and Inspired by my experience, and l aspire to inspire others to contribute to world understanding through volunteerism. ---Godfrey Mukalazi, UN Volunteer with UNDP Also deployed under the Peacebuilding Fund, Kyle Jacques (Canada) is a UN Volunteer who serves in the PBF Secretariat, hosted by the UN Resident Coordinator's Office (RCO). As a Monitoring, Evaluation and Communications Specialist, he assesses the ongoing implementation of PBF-funded projects. He strives to ensure all activities are implemented as planned and are achieving their intended peacebuilding results. Kyle liaises regularly with implementing project teams, supporting the completion and submission of progress reports, conducting project monitoring missions, aggregating and analyzing project data, as well as supporting the completion of final project evaluations. His work is helping PBF-funded programmes create a positive impact within the beneficiary communities. In the PBF-funded programme in Darfur, for example, 377 individuals have benefitted from income generating and vocational training activities, 146 of whom are women. Another positive outcome is the training of 264 Sudanese Police Force staff, including 38 women, in land laws, community patrols, intelligence-led policing and early warning response. Through this assignment, I have gained a thoroughly enriched understanding of the political and peacebuilding context in Sudan, the unique opportunities and challenges within the different communities we are seeking to support, and the important role to be played by the UN country team in furthering Sudan’s peacebuilding trajectory. --Kyle Jacques, UN Volunteer with the UN RCO in Sudan The road to peace in Sudan cannot be complete without the inclusion of volunteers who are working tirelessly to bring hope to communities that have endured the burdens of conflict. Volunteers are offering their time and knowledge to bring about positive change during a critical time in the country’s history.
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29 August 2021
Grandi calls for peace in Ethiopia, stresses ‘there is no military solution’
By Catherine Wachiaya in Um Rakuba camp, Sudan Hailu Mehari crossed into Sudan last November with his wife and their two children, leaving behind raging conflict across Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The 65-year-old father of four met UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, who visited eastern Sudan, where close to 48,000 Ethiopian refugees live in two camps, Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah. Grandi met Hailu in Um Rakuba where he spoke with him and several refugees including young men and women, children, people living with disabilities and the elderly. They raised various issues, ranging from access to proper health care, shelter and food. “We lost our home, our farm, everything. I am not showing all my emotions as it is still so painful,” said Hailu, who owned large swathes of farmland and left them unharvested after violence broke out. “I am grateful for everything I have received in Sudan.” Hailu added that he was glad to have made it out safely. “It’s difficult here but I am very happy to be alive. I am grateful for everything I have received in Sudan,” he said. Grandi noted that the situation is very challenging and added that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is working closely with the government of Sudan and other aid agencies to improve services. “Conditions in the camp are fragile as in any humanitarian situation but they have improved. We’ve seen services such as education, food distributions and healthcare being offered to the refugees,” he said. He commended the government and the people of Sudan for their continued hospitality towards refugees, despite hosting more than 1 million other refugees and grappling with a displacement crisis of over 2.5 million internally displaced Sudanese, amid growing economic challenges. “It’s not that they don’t have problems in other parts of the country so it’s really something that the international community needs to appreciate more,” he said. “There is no military solution to this problem.” The High Commissioner was joined by the Norwegian Minister of International Development, Dag-Inge Ulstein. “The host communities here are such a good example for the rest of the world. They are very warm and have welcomed refugees openly,” the Minister said. He appreciated efforts by aid agencies in responding to refugees’ needs. “The UN agencies and UNHCR are really doing a tremendous job setting up this site in such a short time while also building trust with the local communities,” he added. Hailu and his wife Tsige are also struggling to cope with being separated from their older children who remained behind in Tigray. “I miss my other children and I still get emotional,” said Tsige. “This week when I thought about them, I became very stressed and had stomach pains. I’m even struggling to talk about it now.” Hailu added that they last communicated with his older brother and his children in June but haven’t heard from them since. “I hope and pray for their safety,” he said, adding that although they lost everything, they appreciate making it to Sudan. Grandi noted that many of the refugees he spoke to would like to return home but only if there is peace. He reiterated that “there is no military solution to this problem” and the only way to restore peace in Ethiopia is through diplomatic negotiation and political talks. “That’s the only way to create conducive conditions for the thousands of people hosted in Sudan, to be able to go back voluntarily, in safety and dignity,’ he said.
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02 June 2021
Brick by brick, South Sudanese refugees rebuild, gaining stability and dignity
The sense of ownership and privacy that Nyafuoj Aban, 44, felt after she finished building her mud-brick hut is one that she cherishes deeply to this day. A year ago, Aban and her ten children, aged between four and 27 years, moved into their more solid house, locally known as a ‘tukul’ in Al Jameya camp in Sudan’s White Nile State. Before, they were living with almost 20 relatives in two temporary shelters for two and a half years. “This is my house, I own it. It protects me and my children and gives us privacy,” beams Aban as she spreads her arms wide to capture the expanse of her round grass-thatched hut. The family fled their home in southern Malakal, South Sudan, when war broke out in December 2013, living in different villages that were relatively peaceful before finally arriving in Sudan in April 2014. Aban, who was then six months pregnant, did not receive her own individual shelter due to the high numbers of refugees arriving at the time and a shortage of land that did not allow for space to be allocated. Instead, all newly arriving refugees were being placed in communal shelters as UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Government of Sudan tried to find the necessary resources to accommodate them. Tired of living in a communal shelter, Aban gathered her children and moved in with other relatives in an emergency shelter. Made of temporary materials like plastic sheets and papyrus mats, emergency shelters are made to minimum standards, intended to provide refugees with shelter for a short time. “This is my house, I own it. It protects me and my children and gives us privacy.” “I am grateful that my relatives took us in, but life was not easy. We were too many and since it was not our home, we did not have the freedom to live the way we wanted,” she explains. Aban decided to register for a project to pilot durable shelters for South Sudanese refugees in Sudan. The project required refugees to participate in building their own shelters by making bricks, fetching water and working with builders contracted by UNHCR and partners. “My friends tried to discourage me from joining, saying that I would not manage the tough work, but I had nothing to lose by trying,” recalls Aban. Without her husband around to support her – he remained behind in South Sudan – Aban, with the help of her children, collected soil and water to make bricks. They laid them in the scorching sun, the hope of a new home their major driving force. In total, 769 families participated in building their own tukuls. Aban did the finishing of the floor and plastered the walls herself – a hefty task, but one she had no qualms about. “Back home in South Sudan, this is a woman’s job, so I did everything alone,” she says proudly. Plastering the hut serves an important aesthetic purpose. The placement of a protective layer over the bricks also helps reduce exposure to rain and other elements and makes the bricks firmer, prolonging the hut’s durability. Aban and her family are assured of safety from the elements and from potentially losing their shelter due to a storm or fire outbreak. As she waits to see what the future holds, the family is trying to go on with their lives. Aban currently has no job, but during the harvest season, she and her older children join hundreds of other refugees to work on local Sudanese farms, harvesting sorghum and sesame, to supplement what they receive from aid agencies. Sudan currently hosts over 747,000 refugees from South Sudan, 36 per cent of them living in White Nile State. By Sylvia Nabanoba in White Nile State, Sudan
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30 May 2021
Thirteen years of sowing peace in Darfur
This year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers comes five months after the United Nations Security Council – through UNSC Resolution 2559 – ended the mandate of the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) as of 31 December 2020. Full withdrawal is to be completed by 30 June 2021, followed by a liquidation phase. For UN Volunteers, many of whom have served with UNAMID for years, this is an emotional period, particularly as they bid farewell to local communities in Darfur. Many UN Volunteers hope that their work and peace dividends gained in this peacekeeping operation over the last thirteen years can be sustained, at least for the sake of the vulnerable people who have endured suffering for far too long. Starting with the deployment of its first UN Volunteer in August 2007, UNV had deployed over 696 Volunteers to the mission by 2020, from over 70 nationalities. These UN Volunteers were deployed to both mission support and substantive functions. The list is long: water and sanitation, transportation, technical cooperation, storage and warehousing, social services, purchasing and contracting, public information, production, machine maintenance and repair, laboratory operations, inventory and supply, building maintenance, administration, financial management, medical and nutrition, computer information systems, architecture, engineering and administration. Several were also deployed in human rights, political and civil affairs, gender and protection roles. In partnership with UN agencies, funds and programmes, civil society organizations and other stakeholders, UNV also implemented important programmatic activities. These included the Youth Volunteers Rebuilding Darfur programme and the Youth Volunteerism for Peacebuilding Project, as well as critical quick impact projects. UN Volunteers, therefore, played a critical role in UNAMID’s delivery of its peacekeeping mandate. The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 brought with it many significant challenges, including freezing of international travel, imposition of multiple lockdowns and increased workload (without the much-needed rest), thus resulting in increased levels of stress. Some UN Volunteers contracted the virus itself. However, this did not deter the determined UN Volunteers from carrying on with their assignments. I am one proud Programme Manager, because of the achievements of these selfless UN Volunteers. Every time I participate in Mission meetings or events and hear the endless testimonies and praises heaped on our volunteers by mission section chiefs and senior management, I am reminded of the sacrifices UN Volunteers, many of whom were in the frontline of service provision, have made for the people of Darfur. --James Duku, UNV Programme Manager, UNAMID While it sometimes feels sad to bid farewell to the now departing UN Volunteers, I am deeply thankful for their contribution to peace in the Darfur region of Sudan. On this International Day of UN Peacekeepers, may their commitment to service and contribution be recognized as the greatest catalyst for Peace and Development here and in the world beyond. UN Volunteers are, indeed, an inspiration in action! James Duku, UNV Programme Manager, UNAMID
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30 May 2021
Building Back Better: Flood Disaster Needs and Recovery Assessment Report released
This week, the Government of Sudan in collaboration with the United Nations and the World Bank, launched a report highlighting the impact of 2020’s floods on development sectors of Sudan, and identified key actions required to reduce the impacts of future disasters including floods. “Disaster preparedness is vital to peace processes - drought and conflict linkages are evident in Sudan, preparedness is important for reducing financial burden on humanitarian aid and moving forward to development,” said Jos De La Haye, UNDP Sudan Deputy Resident Representative. He added: “Leaving no one behind, UNDP reiterates its commitment to support disaster risk management including disaster risk governance in Sudan.” Drawing on assessments of those impacted during 2020’s catastrophic flood events, the Rapid Post Disaster Needs and Recovery Assessment (PDNRA) responds jointly to the Government’s request for flood impact assessment, and recovery planning. Damage and loss was assessed across 16 sub-sectors including housing, agriculture, energy, and disaster risk reduction. Coordinated with government and key partners, the report highlights key steps to support building a culture of disaster resilience in Sudan – mitigating future impacts and strengthening the ability of communities to recover faster. With total damage and loss from floods estimated at US$ 4.4 billion, and recovery estimated at US$ 6.9 billion, the key finding was clear: reconstruct with ‘Build Back Better’ principles, not previous methods. Supporting this, efforts are underway in Kassala to support early warning and emergency preparedness. The United Nations is committed to emergency response and disaster preparedness in Sudan, with UNDP’s support. Previously, UNDP has supported the Sudan Meteorological Authority on Early Warning, developed a national strategy on disaster risk management, and supported creation of disaster insurance products. These measures, and ensuring sustainability, are critical to support disaster risk management, recovery and development in Sudan. Read the full report and its findings here.
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