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Italian funding to improve water, nutrition in eastern Sudan

November 13 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Children in eastern Sudan (file photo)
Children in eastern Sudan (file photo)

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) will fund two projects in eastern Sudan aimed at improving water, sanitation and hygiene services in Kassala state, and in treating and preventing malnutrition in Red Sea state.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports in its latest weekly bulletin that the two projects will cost €1.3 million (about $1.45 million) in total.

In Kassala State, the €800,000 ($891,000) one-year project will address the severe need for water and waste management services. It will be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The project will provide sustainable access to water infrastructure and waste collection management systems in Kassala and Khashm El Girba towns. In order to ensure the sustainability of the project, communities will be trained in the management of these activities. The project will be implemented in coordination with the Kassala government’s Water, Environmental Sanitation Department (WES), the state Water Corporation, and national partners.

Kassala state suffers from years of underdevelopment and limited infrastructure. This has severely affected the livelihoods of communities in the region and placed pressure on already scarce resources, the IOM stated in a press release.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Kassala is an arid or semi-arid climatic zone and environmental resources such as water and pasture are limited and variable across the state.

Water resources are scarce in the area due to low, unpredictable rainfall in addition to groundwater shortages, except along the shallow aquifers in El Gash basin area, the capital. Pastures are limited because of livestock overgrazing combined with already minimal graze lands in rocky and partially mountainous areas in the northern and southeast parts of Kassala.


In Red Sea state, AICS will provide the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) with €500,000 ($549,300) to implement a one-year project for controlling and preventing malnutrition. The project will target children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women.

Red Sea State has some of the highest malnutrition rates in the country. According to the Sudan National S3M survey carried out in 2013, some localities in the state have Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates as high as 46.7 per cent (Toker locality) and 37.4 per cent (Agig locality).

The survey also indicates that GAM levels in Sudan are at 16.3 per cent, above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent.

Over two million children under 5 years are acutely malnourished in Sudan every year, according to the Sudan 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview.  

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