‘Eastern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund does not work’: MP
Parliamentarians and scholars from eastern Sudan have accused the Eastern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund (ESRDF) of a bad performance and lacking transparency.
Member of the Parliamentary Caucus for eastern Sudan Mohamed El Taher Osham said that the projects being carried out in eastern Sudan “are missing any feasible development value”, in his lecture at a workshop on the performance of the ESRDF in Khartoum on Thursday.
“The Fund has only established some school classes in the area of Hamishkoreib in Kassala State,” Osham stated, “while Hamishkoreib is one of the most war-affected areas in eastern Sudan.”
“The development projects are not implemented, while the region continues to suffer from chronic thirst. The eastern Sudanese are in dire need of mine clearance, and water and housing projects”, he said. “They are living on mine fields, in houses made of palm leaves, with very poor access to drinking water.”
The MP appealed to the eastern Sudan parliamentary caucus and civil society organisations to act urgently by submitting a memorandum to President Omar Al Bashir about the performance of the Eastern Sudan Reconstruction Fund.
Ahmed Ibrahim Onur, professor at the Faculty of Administrative Sciences of the University of Khartoum, criticised the defective implementation of projects too in his contribution to the workshop. He also accused the ESRDF of being not transparent regarding the finances of the Fund. “Since the Fund assumed its duties in 2007, it has implemented only 20 percent of the projects in the region, while it has received millions of dollars from donors.”
“The ESRDF adopted a 2006-2011 development programme in eastern Sudan that included the construction and maintenance of water distribution systems, the reduction of unemployment, the establishment of a teacher training institute, a hospital, and 12 health centres. The implementation on the ground, however, has been zero”, Onur stated.
The scholar accused the ruling National Congress Party of dominating the Reconstruction Fund. “The Sudanese president himself has appointed the Fund’s Executive Director.”
The ESRDF was established in 2007 by a constitutional decree, with the aim of rehabilitating the areas affected by armed conflict, providing services in the field of education, health, and water, building human and institutional capacity, combating poverty, and developing the infrastructure, agriculture, industry, fisheries, and tourism.
File photo: A construction worker in Sudan (AFDB.org)
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