UNDP Arab States Chief : Dignity Through Livelihoods, Women’s Empowerment Key Opportunities For Sudan

UNDP Regional Director for Arab States, Ms. Amat Alsoswa, with the Chief Administrator of Abyei Area Administration, Mr. Deng Arop Kuol, in Abyei.

Abyei, 8 June 2010 A large-scale impetus to livelihoods generation, in tandem with continuing humanitarian efforts and investing in women’s future constitute the defining development opportunities for Sudan. UNDP will work in close cooperation with the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan to make progress on this agenda. This was stated by the visiting Assistant Administrator of UNDP and the Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS), Ms. Amat Alsoswa, here today.

On her third day of a week-long visit, Ms. Alsoswa visited Abyei to take stock of development projects supported by UNDP that seek to support Government efforts at strengthening the rule of law, recovery and rehabilitation, governance and women's development. Speaking at a meeting organized by local women's collective, Ms. Alsoswa noted the strides made by women in Abyei in skills-building for income-generation activities.

Earlier, Ms. Alsoswa held wide-ranging consultations with the Chief Administrator of the Abyei Area Administration (AAA), Mr Deng Arop Kuol, the Deputy Chief Administrator, Mr. Rahma El Nour, other representatives of the Abyei Administration and the Speaker of the Abyei Legislative Council, Charles Abyei. The discussions covered progress made in the region on promoting livelihoods, institutionalizing rule of law, improving local governance, peace building and building state capacity for delivery of basic services to the citizens.

Lauding UNDP’s robust engagement with the development efforts in Abyei, Mr. Arop Deng Kuol said with the anticipated return to Abyei of thousands of Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the weeks ahead, the Abyei Administration would need ever-greater support from UNDP in creating livelihood opportunities for the returnees.

UNDP Chief of Arab States Bureau listening to a presentation by one of the representatives of the Women's Development Network in El Fasher

“UNDP can be proud of its partnership with the people and Government of Sudan that has been nurtured over a period of time. We stand ready to mobilize the rest of the United Nations system in support of the vital development needs in Abyei and beyond”, Ms. Alsoswa noted.

Ms. Alsoswa opened the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (SRRC/HAC) for Abyei area. The center, supported by UNDP, is the focal agency for the government during crisis – be it natural disasters or conflicts -- to coordinate humanitarian assistance as well as returnees from the north and other parts of Sudan.

The UNDP regional chief was apprised of the preparations underway for the local Referendum in Abyei due in January 2011. The Speaker of the Abyei Legislative Council, Mr. Charles Abyei called for UNDP assistance in the current preparatory stages in enhancing civic education and enlightenment of people about the Referendum.

On the second day of her visit to the country, Ms. Alsoswa visited El Fasher in North Darfur, where she discussed UNDP areas of support to the conflict-affected state. During her day-long visit, Ms. Alsoswa met with top state government representatives, key officials of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and members of the international development and humanitarian organizations, including key International Non-Governmental Organizations (I-NGOs) based in El Fasher.

Ms. Alsoswa capped her programme in El Fasher with a visit to the local Women’s Development Network that has advanced training efforts for over 160,000 women. Earlier, in Khartoum, Ms. Alsoswa met with women representatives of various political parties who form part of the Women in Political Parties Forum and learnt about the progress made by women in Sudan in empowerment through political and democratic participation in the country.

During her visit, Ms Alsoswa was also apprised of the efforts made to deal with the growing scourge of tuberculosis, malaria and HIV and AIDS in the region as part of the UNDP-managed Global Fund. UNDP Sudan, through its Khartoum and Juba Offices, and in collaboration with several UN Agencies, International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs) and donor partners, works to develop the capacity of national partners such as the Sudan National AIDS Programme, National Malaria Control Programme, National TB Programme, and General Directorate of Pharmacy, People Living with HIV Association, and local NGOs working in the field of HIV/AIDS.


For more information please contact:
Kumar Tiku: Head, Communications Unit, UNDP Sudan: kumar.tiku@undp.org

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.