Sudan: WFP and UNICEF launch new BMZ-KFW-funded joint programme to strengthen resilience and social cohesion in Darfur
The four-year joint programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the KfW German Development Bank.
This is a unique programme that aims to provide long-term solutions by tackling underlying barriers to peace, stability and development to nearly 300,000 vulnerable Sudanese across South, Central and North Darfur, who have been adversely affected by conflict, climate change, natural disasters, and economic downturns.
The first of its kind at its scale in Sudan, the programme takes a holistic and inclusive approach that will enable communities to better withstand multiple shocks and plant the seeds for peaceful coexistence among diverse populations.
“The new joint programme underlines the German Government’s commitment to supporting households and communities affected by multiple crises. With this programme, we seek to strengthen their resilience over the medium and long term. UNICEF and WFP working together will ensure that people benefit from a comprehensive, integrated package of essential services. By involving communities in the design of activities we also aim to foster social cohesion,” said Hanspeter Schwaer, Senior Policy Advisor from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“While the German Government supports direct assistance to the communities, cooperation with the Government of Sudan remains paused. Germany underlines that to re-establish cooperation, an inclusive political settlement and the restoration of a credible transition remain urgent," he concluded.
The programme will be implemented in North Darfur (El Fasher, Tawilla), South Darfur (Kass, Bileil) and Central Darfur (Zalingei, Mukjar) involving diverse sectors of the community including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities.
Communities in the Darfur region continue to experience setbacks due to natural disasters such as floods and prolonged dry spells, in addition to violent conflict. These shocks have worsened the food security of families and limited access to basic services. Competition over resources and services shared by host communities, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) exacerbates these challenges.
“This programme will be a game-changer for communities in Darfur. It will help ensure vulnerable families don’t slip further into hunger and can actively participate in overcoming underlying challenges to peacebuilding and stability in their communities,” said Mr Eddie Rowe, WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director.
“The ripple effects of creating livelihood opportunities and social safety net systems will persist long after this programme concludes. Thanks to the multi-year funding from the German Government for a long-term programme, we are one step closer to recovery and sustainable development in Sudan,” he concluded.
The programme strives to create sustainable food systems, increase communities’ access to integrated basic social services, strengthen systems at the local level to improve service delivery, and enhance community-based networks to reconcile local conflicts and build trust through inclusive social dialogue.
“Children continue to bear the brunt of conflict and emergencies. We thank the German Government for the generous support that will complement our humanitarian, development and peace nexus programming delivered in the Darfur region, as we strive to create safe and enabling environment for children to survive and thrive,” said Mandeep O’Brien, UNICEF’s Representative to Sudan.
“Increasing access for vulnerable children, young people and their community members to quality health, nutrition, education, protection and water, sanitation and hygiene services will certainly contribute to fostering healthier, more productive, and resilient communities for the future” she continued.
At this critical time in Sudan’s history, multi-year funding for long-term programs that empower and entrust ownership to local communities is critical to the transition from short-term humanitarian assistance toward lasting solutions and sustainable development. WPF and UNICEF will continue to advocate for similar investments in the future that will bridge the gap between humanitarian and development assistance and peacebuilding.