EU pledges €34 million in new grants for Sudan
On Sunday, the EU Ambassador to Sudan, Jean-Michel Dumond, confirmed the EU’s full support to “every genuine initiative that will put Sudan on a path to peace, prosperity, and justice”. He further announced a grant of €22 million for a quality education programme, and €12 million for the upgrading of health care in eastern Sudan.
Speaking on the occasion of Europe Day 2017, Dumond told an audience in Khartoum on Sunday evening that the EU will also support genuine efforts to rebuild confidence between Sudan and international partners.
“The EU therefore calls on the Government of Sudan, the opposition and the armed movements to rise to the opportunity and demonstrate the leadership necessary to put Sudan and the Sudanese people on the path of internal peace, reconciliation and democratic governance.”
The Ambassador pointed to the importance of Sudan to the security of Europe. “Sudan is important to the EU in a region that is affected by the challenges of irregular migration, forced displacement, smuggling and trafficking of people, and violent conflict.
“With nearly 250 million inhabitants and a rapidly growing population, the Horn of Africa hosts the largest number of displaced people and refugees in Africa. These challenges have numerous drivers which vary according to local contexts, but are commonly rooted in a lack of political, economic and social opportunities, restricted natural resources, poverty, instability and climate change.
“In front of these challenges, the EU is conducting a constructive engagement with all Sudanese stakeholders to build confidence, increase understanding and ensure that Sudan conducts a transition to peace and stability. We will discuss with the new government, with the opposition, and with the civil society. There will be no secret deals and there are no hidden agendas, and the dialogue on human rights will remain at the core of our discussions,” Dumond said.
He said that the EU will continue to support the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) “which is active in bringing peace to Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan and to implement agreements between Sudan and South Sudan.
“The EU commends President Mbeki on his effort to promote a genuine peace and dialogue process. We call on all the Sudanese and international stakeholders to rally behind AUHIP to reinforce its role and strengthen its voice, on the basis of the roadmap agreed last year.”
The Ambassador further announced the launch of the Education Quality Improvement Programme, for €22 million and the Eastern Sudan Health Programme for €12 million.
“The programme on education will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Unicef, Save the Children Sweden, the British Council, Expertise France and SOFRECO. The second programme will be implemented by the Italian Development Cooperation.
“The two programmes stress the importance of equality of access between boys and girls to quality education and healthcare for the future of development of Sudan. Most of our projects are implemented in eastern Sudan namely Kassala, El Gedaref, and the Red Sea states, in close relation with the Sudanese authorities.
“In parallel, the EU is gradually transforming its humanitarian aid to development assistance in Sudan. In 2017, we have 250 million Euros worth projects in the regions of Sudan, implemented by 92 international and Sudanese organisations which are present with us this evening. To achieve its development goals and to increase our engagement in Sudan, we will appreciate timely access and presence of security and stability from our partners on the Sudanese side to ensure continuity and permanence,” Ambassador Dumond concluded.
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