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World Bank continues supporting the poor in eastern Sudan

December 19 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Farmers in Kassala are able to earn a living with help from micro-grants from the Eastern Sudan Project (Mohammed Alfatih Hassan Osman/World Bank)
Farmers in Kassala are able to earn a living with help from micro-grants from the Eastern Sudan Project (Mohammed Alfatih Hassan Osman/World Bank)

The World Bank has launched the second phase of the Sustainable Livelihoods for Displaced and Vulnerable Communities in the Eastern Sudan Project (SLDP).

The World Bank Country Representative in Sudan, Xavier Furtado, said in a press statement that the project targets the marginalised communities with the aim to enable them run development operations and gain means of sustainable livelihood.

The SLDP, funded by a $3.08 million World Bank-managed grant from the State and Peacebuilding Fund (SPF), started in October 2013 and finished in March 2016. In the first phase, hundreds of vulnerable households in Kassala received livelihoods support.

The first phase also organised and assisted these communities to undertake small works, such as upgrading water supplies and establishing community farming and grazing plots, and delivered a suite of capacity building opportunities for local authorities and NGOs. Following the first phase, households that had received livelihood assistance increased their monthly income by an average 59.5 per cent.

With a larger grant of $4.435 million, the main objective of SLDP’s second phase is to strengthen the capacity of local stakeholders, including state authorities, displaced persons, and vulnerable host communities to plan and implement improved livelihood and natural resource management practices. The project will target an additional 10 officially recognised displaced and host communities in Kassala, incorporating lessons learned during the first phase and supporting community-led management of natural resources.

The second phase of SLDP is the latest addition to the World Bank’s Sudan portfolio of approximately $130 million spread across education, health, agriculture, natural resource management, climate change, peacebuilding, and public financial management.

There are 2.2 million displaced in Sudan, of which 147,000 live in the three eastern states of El Gedaref, Red Sea, and Kassala. Eastern Sudan, one of the poorest and arid parts of the country, is also a transit hub for migrants attempting to reach Europe via smuggling routes leading northwest into Libya.

Eastern Sudan, where an estimated 1.35 million people and about three million cattle live, is one of the most arid and poorest parts of Sudan. Most of the region’s population are cattle herders and farmers with 80 per cent earning their living from subsistence farming. A peace deal in 2006 ended 12 years of a low-intensity conflict but the region remains insecure.

(Sources: World Bank, China.org.cn)


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