Global Human Development Report 2009 launched in Khartoum:
“Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development”

Khartoum, 13 December 2009. Today the United Nations Development Programme in Sudan together with the Sudanese Ministry of International Cooperation launched the Global Human Development Report 2009, under the theme: Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development’.

This year’s HDR explores for the first time the topic of migration. For many people in developing countries, moving away from their home-town or village can be the best, sometimes the only, option open to improve their life chances. Human mobility can be hugely effective in raising a person’s income, health and education prospects. But its value is more than that: being able to decide where to live is a key element of human freedom. The 2009 HDR explores how better policies towards human mobility can enhance human development.

Opening the launching ceremony Mr. Claudio Caldarone, UNDP Sudan Country Director, stressed the importance of the Human Development Report which annually deals with issues facing the international community as a whole. “This year’s report looks at migration from the perspectives of the migrants themselves - the season farm laborers, the factory workers, the teachers and so many others who are on the move around the world; and also from the perspectives of the families they leave behind and the communities in which they go live and work,” he said. “The overriding message of this report is that migration – both across and within national borders – has the potential to greatly improve human welfare.”

Emphasizing the importance of the topic of migration in the Sudanese context, Dr. Elias Nyamlell Wakoson, State Minister of the Ministry of International Cooperation, said “Sudan has experienced significant migration processes, both internal and external, during different historical periods, including in recent decades for various reasons.” He added that “Migrants are a key driving force behind Sudan’s socio-economic development – but so far their contributions have not been fully recognized or documented. Many migrants are vulnerable and require special attention from policymakers.” He remarked that “National and local policies therefore play critical roles in enabling better human development outcomes for both those who choose to move in order to improve their wellbeing, and those forced to relocate due to conflict, environmental degradation, or other reasons.”

Addressing audience Mr. Hassabo Mohamed Abdelrahman, Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, said “In Sudan, the people move mostly with the purpose to find better economic opportunities to help them improve their livelihoods. The Human Development Index for Sudan is positive, it has moved from 0.491 in 2000 to 0.531 in 2007. This upward movement, is the result of substantial joint development efforts implemented by the government of Sudan (GoNU), together with its partners, including the people of Sudan.”

He also mentioned that the 2009 HDR will be made available to all relevant managers, planners and policymakers at various levels in the different government institutions and that the government will support the concerned departments to prepare the human development data in a manner that reflects the human development situation in Sudan. In conclusion he stated, “We look forward for the UNDP to support Sudan to prepare and produce a more detailed and comprehensive HDR for the country, a report that highlights the country’s achievements and the areas that need to be strengthened. Such a report will be helpful for the policy makers and planners in Sudan.”

Jill Helke, IOM Sudan’s Chief of Mission spoke about IOM’s contribution to the report “The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has been very happy to have contributed to the report”, she said. “As a way forward, the report recommends that origin countries should consider a systematic ‘profiling of migration and its benefits, costs, and risks’ as a ‘basis for integrating movement into national development strategies’. IOM, in collaboration with the Secretariat of Sudanese Working Abroad is in the process of putting together a migration profile for Sudan. This will map both the government entities with an interest in and a potential contribution to migration policy to ensure all actors are involved, and will gather information and data on who is coming into Sudan from where, staying in or going where in migration terms for Sudan. The work we are doing on this may well be helpful background for the proposed international conference on migration trends and patterns in Sudan next year.”

Sudanese experts and academia, representatives of the NGOs and the media, representatives of the United Nations, international development partners and key government officials attended the launch and discussions on the topic of Human mobility and development in the Sudanese context.

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For further information, contact:
Monique Tummers-de Groot, UNDP Sudan phone: +249 (0) 914108772,
Omer A. Rahem, UNDP Sudan, phone: +249 (0) 9227825, e-mail:

For information on the HDR please visit :

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.