Qatar reiterates commitment to Darfur
The deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud said that the State of Qatar is determined to continue fulfilling its commitments to the people of Darfur. He stressed that Qatar, with the support of its partners, has succeeded in finalising a document which laid the foundations for peace in Darfur.
“We have insisted that this Document should include the necessary foundations to pave the way for a comprehensive development strategy for Darfur, and we did mobilise financial support for the needs of recovery and development for the long term through the International Donors Conference (IDC) and other institutions,” Al Mahmoud said addressing, the Darfur Reconstruction Council’s third meeting which was held today at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha.
The State of Qatar contributed a total amount of $500 million, of which $88 million is allocated for the early recovery projects and for the basic projects contained in Darfur development strategy, according to a memorandum of understanding which was signed with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) during the last session of the United Nations general Assembly, he added pointing that this contribution represents 50 per cent of the total budget for these projects. “Ten million dollars has already been transferred to the United Nations Development Program. Also a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Qatar Charity Society for drilling of 300 three hundred wells over three years at total cost of three million US dollars,” he said.
Partnership and development
Al Mahmoud: “Within the framework of our efforts to expand our partnership of development, an agreement was concluded with the United Kingdom Department of International Development to contribute with Qatar in establishing a huge water project in Darfur, during the visit of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani to the United Kingdom in November last year.
Qatar has completed its first phase development initiative to build five model villages of services in various states of Darfur: in Rongtas, Wararah, Bulbul, Tembaska and Um-Dhay, to encourage the voluntary return of people – three of them have already been opened last June, and the others will be follow during this month. These villages cost approximately $31million. The second stage of Qatar projects will include the establishment of further 10 similar villages cost 70 million Dollars, to be executed next year. A Project concerning nomadic tribes will be also launched next year that cost 50 million dollars, as they have a good impact on the return of the people to their original places, and compensate them for the years of displacement, suffering and depravity.
In this regard, Al Mahmoud pointed that the arrangements for the establishment of Darfur Development Bank which was announced by HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani are smoothly proceeding. After the completion of the final structure of the Bank, and conducting the necessary studies of the regional and local expertise institutions regarding the needs of Darfur, the structural aspects, its association with considerations of international development, and benefit from the experiences of some similar banks that had been established for similar purposes, he added.
He revealed that a meeting of potential shareholders in the capital of the bank, will be convened at the headquarter of the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Bank in Jeddah during the coming period, explaining that the activities of the Bank in Darfur will be confined to Darfur, and it will provide the needful fund for small projects which help the people of Darfur to secure means of living and enhance the chances of peace.
Al Mahmoud pointed out that the reconstruction and development operations in Darfur are not free from difficulties and challenges. In addition to the huge deterioration that disrupted the activities of Darfur’s economy over the past years the whole Sudan’s economy is facing a very difficult obstacles. Accordingly, it is necessary to mobilize donors to supplant the recovery and development programs in accordance with the specific needs approved by the donor’s conference.
He praised what had been done by some donors who fulfilled their announced commitment by establishing hospitals, dams, power and water plants. “We mention here with gratitude:-Turkey, Germany, The Arab league, the Arab Fund for Economic Development, the Qatari charitable Organization and others whose activities had a positive impact on the life of the people,’ he said adding “In this context we appreciate the efforts of Reconstruction Fund in executing a number of basic projects which started in 2013 in field of education, health, waters, electricity and others.”
Al Mahmoud went on saying “There are 315 projects already opened as part the first matrix, out of 1071 project waiting implementation, including schools, health centres, police stations furthermore the five villages that state of Qatar established and we referred to earlier. But we want to emphasise that these utilities need well trained cadres of doctors, employees and qualified police men, so it will not become in the future a hotbed for vermin. We in this committee expect that the Regional Authority with the States Governments will bear the responsibility of providing appropriate staff for these facilities so that the people of Darfur can reap its fruit.
“We hope that those who are in charge of the issues of implementation of the second matrix, grant waters issues utmost importance because most of projects that are established are suffering from water problems. Most areas located along the way of Zalengi – Algnaina road depends on Altumud as the only one source of water. We do not want to postpone the right of people of Darfur to basic needs at the expense of roads projects and airports although they are important so that they have to go parallel. The preparation and implementation of rehabilitation projects, development, and the requirements of voluntary return, and the sustainability of return depends directly on providing sufficient pure waters, either for the purpose of human or animal consumption or other life style patterns,” he said stressing that priority should be given to water issues.
Al Mahmoud expressed his appreciation to the continuation of the government of Sudan to pay its obligations under the Doha Document regarding the Reconstruction and Development Fund, despite the difficult economic situation, and we take this opportunity to call on all our other partners to fulfill their declared commitment as soon as possible.
“At this sensitive stage of development process, we are in desperate need to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the projects that have been executed and the status of donors commitments, and the reasons behind the delay in meeting these undertakings, and seek possible ways to overcome them.
“We also need to encourage the exact and effective time framework implementation of the strategy of sustainable development in Darfur which this board supervises, and paying attention to training and upgrading the efficiency of national cadres working in this field, and developing its skills to lead the sustainable development in Darfur. There is also a need to recognize the role played by women of in the development of Darfur in the absence of most of the men, and to expand their conception of the production process,” he continued.
Al Mahmoud said that the international donors’ conference assured the world`s commitment to the people of Darfur to work for the stability of their region after a period of long suffering. “They expect a lot from us, and we hope to meet their aspirations within our potentialities.”
Concluding his speech, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud extended thanks to the Sudanese government, Darfur Regional Authority, the United Nations Development Program, Unamid, donors, and all those who contribute to facilitate the work of this Board, and provides support for recovery and development in Darfur.
For his part, Chairman of the Darfur Regional Authority Tijani Sese reviewed the projects that were established in the last period. He expressed his thanks to HH the Emir of Qatar as well as the country’s government and people for the role they played in completing those projects. He highlighted the model villages built by the State of Qatar as an example of providing the utmost support to the people of Darfur.
There was a total of 1071 projects aimed at improving services in Darfur, Sese said. They range from infra-structure to food and shelter projects. The budget of 2014 has allocated 900 million Sudanese Gnaih for developmental projects. In addition to 1.7 billion for 2015.
Qatar’s representative to the meeting Shaheen Ali Al Kaabi revealed that Qatar will build another 10 model villages worth $70 million. Qatar will also dig a number of water wells to deal with the shortage in the region, worth $3 million. Qatar will also establish projects worth $50 million for Darfur’s Bedouin community over the next three years. (Source: Qatar News Agency QNR)
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