Italy will fund several projects of UN agencies on food security and rural radio in eastern Sudan. Now the country has made its first contribution to promoting the resilience of former combatants in Blue Nile.
Earlier this month the Italian government, through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), has funded three new projects respectively with heritage organisation UNESCO (300,000), the World Food Programme (500,000) and the Refugee Agency (UNHCR, 700,000).
The contribution to UNHCR will address the new and old migration flows from the Horn of Africa that enters Kassala state. UNHCR plans to rehabilitate basic health services and provision of drinking water for Shagrab refugee camps with the hosting communities.
The funding to WFP will contribute to food security and creating new forms of income in eastern Sudanese states, through the construction of public (mainly health) facilities. The initiative entrusted to UNESCO will concern the development and strengthening of community radio in the eastern regions of Sudan.
The radio project supports the Sudanese Ministry of Information and the Sudanese National Radio in developing the so-called Community Radio Services, in local languages of eastern Sudanese minorities. Funding will strengthen broadcast capacities of 'relevant teams' of journalists and content producers, UNESCO's website reads, and equipment will be upgraded.
'The launch of these programmes […] puts us at the forefront in terms of presence and cooperation initiatives in Eastern Sudan' – Ambassador Lobasso.
Last week Italian Ambassador Fabrizio LMrobasso also attended the signing of the agreement between the AICS, in the framework of the Emergency Program, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization & Reintegration (DDR) Commission.
The AICS will fund the initiative 'Improving the sustainability of the Program for Community Security and Stabilization', which is planned to be realised in Blue Nile, especially in the area of Ed Damazin.
As part of the initiative job opportunities for local population, refugees, displaced people and former combatants in Blue Nile will be created, in order to re-establish the social structure which has been challenged sharply by last conflicts.
“The reconciliation between the host communities and the communities of displaced people is extremely important,” said Ambassador Lobasso. He said that a first step towards this direction is creating new job opportunities in order to improve living conditions of people.
The Disarmament commission agreed that supporting the dialogue among communities is key for sustaining the initiative. UNDP has focused on the promotion of inclusive lifestyles, stressing the humanitarian commitment towards a development goal.