Enhancing Livelihood Opportunities and Building Social Capital for New Livelihoods Strategies in Darfur

Fast Facts:
• Project Document
• Mapping and Capacity Assessment of Civil Society Organizations (CSOS) in Darfur
Location: Darfur, SUDAN
Duration: October 2007 – Dec 2011
Focus area: Crisis Prevention and Recovery
Contributions(USD): Khalifa Bin Zayed AlNehayan Foundation : 250,072.17
Partners: NGOs, CBOs, Department of Development Planning- Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning & UN Agencies (UNEP , UNICEF, UNAMID, UNFPA)
Delivery(USD): 2010: 705,351
2009: 1,825,907
2008: 1,755,440
Contact person in UNDP: Musa Ibrahim, Programme Officer (Human Security & Recovery Unit) musa.ibrahim@undp.org
The current conflict in the Darfur region of Western Sudan which erupted in early 2003 has caused suffering to civilians .The estimated 2.5 million of the civilian population that has been forced to flee from their rural homes are relying on food aid in displacement camps. Before the conflict, agriculture and livestock used to be the main livelihood strategies for rural Darfurians. However, livestock was either looted during attacks ,or sold through distress when displaced people first arrived to the camps. In addition, livestock migration routes have been blocked due to the conflict causing serious overgrazing. In the present setting, the loss of land and insecurity have hindered the potential of agriculture as a livelihood strategy. Trading patterns and markets have been severely disrupted. Host communities have not been spared from price distortions, mainly as a result of food aid.

The situation in Darfur is complex and volatile. The conflict is rooted in competition over natural resources such as water between nomads and rural communities, economic marginalization of the Darfur region as well as tribal and ethnic clashes. For the past several years, the international community has focused on life-saving interventions creating dependencies and disempowering people. The assumption that food rations cover all the food needs of displaced people is mistaken. Studies conducted in camps have shown that families sell their rations to cover other needs and this has resulted in malnutrition particularly among children.

Local people have certain preferences for example they prefer locally produced sorghum and cooking oil and therefore sell their rations to buy local food which is more expensive. There is general consensus among practitioners on the need for the incorporation of longer term support with conflict resolution potential to cover livelihoods needs of all communities (Internally Displaced Persons, urban and rural communities including nomads) in Darfur whilst at the same time providing relief.

To help fill this gap, UNDP with the support of its Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) started the Darfur Livelihoods Programme involving a large number of local, national and international partners.

The Darfur Livelihoods project aims to prepare the ground for enhanced socio-economic recovery. The specific objectives are:
• To enhance employment opportunities through vocational training in such skills as construction, motor and bicycle repairs, carpentry, welding.
• To enhance the recovery of the local economy ownership and sustainability through capacity development of local NGOS and CBOs.
• To support the development of curricula and delivery of certified skills training for youths including girls and particularly IDP youths for access to formal employment.
• To enhance exchange of knowledge, experiences and information on livelihoods and natural resources management in Darfur through the establishment of a web based platform.
• To strengthen enterprises and increase their income through capacity development of economic organizations such as cooperatives and farmers unions and assisting producers to maximize profits by developing commodity value chains.

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
• In partnership with Nyala Technical College in South Darfur, 208 youth from Kalma IDP Camp received 3 months vocational training in 13 trades and were further supported with start-up toolkits to establish youth microenterprises. Major highlight of the initiative was the ability to negotiate and enroll IDP girls in what are considered male-only trades such as mobile phone repair, installation, maintenance and repair of satellite dishes. They are probably the first females to enter such trades in Darfur. 108 youth are undergoing similar training in Kass as UNDP support percolates further from major urban centres to rural locations with relative stability.
• 2 women/youth centres were constructed in West Darfur and one centre was rehabilitated in North Darfur.
• In partnership with the Darfur Development and Reconstruction Agency (DRA) a national NGO, 195 male youth enrolled in 4 vocational trades at the El Fasher Technical School in North Darfur. In the same state the Community Development Department of the University of El Fasher successfully trained 57 women including IDPs in food processing, handicrafts and computer skills.
• Traffic police in El Geneina- West Darfur and UNDP partnered to impart driving skills to 30 IDP youth including 4 girls from Dorti Camp.
• In North Darfur, 1 new water yard was constructed in Abu Zouk, a non-functional water yard was successfully rehabilitated in Abu Gera and 5 hand pumps were installed in the villages of Mogabil, Kungour, Sailae and Hilat Saleh 2. An estimated 12,500 conflict-affected individuals benefited. Photo and video documentaries were produced. At community level, a total of 30 hand pump mechanics from rural El Fasher, 6 of them women, were trained in operation and maintenance of hand pumps. At technical level and in partnership with UNESCO water chair in Khartoum, UNDP supported the training of 23 laboratory technicians and 21 water engineers in water resources assessment and planning including modern water quality lab testing and ground water assessment techniques.
• To strengthen the capacity of government institutions to take their lead role in early recovery coordination, 8 computers were provided to needy departments and training workshops on strategic/development planning, project cycle management, basic computer skills were conducted throughout the 3 Darfur States. A total of 280 government officials benefited from the training workshops.
• In partnership with HAC federal level, UNDP commissioned a capacity assessment study of Darfur CSOs with the aim of building the capacity of local institutions so that they can effectively contribute to peace building and socio-economic recovery. Out of the 447 CSOs that were assessed a total of 67 CSOs were recommended as potential partners in the fields of livelihoods, natural resources and peace building.
• A web platform was designed to facilitate sharing of information and experiences among NGOs, UN and Government partners in the areas of livelihoods and natural resource management in Darfur. It will expand to including other areas in Sudan beginning with Kassala.
• In November, 2009, a knowledge sharing workshop organized by UNDP in collaboration with UNEP and TUFTS University (US) in Nyala, South Darfur brought together over a 100 national and international experts from the government, UN and civil society involved with livelihoods, natural resources management and microfinance in humanitarian situations.
• In Kabkabiya, North Darfur UNDP provided start-up vocational tools and equipment to youth who had benefited from UNICEF supported vocational training.

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