UNDP in East Sudan: Exploring Opportunities and Fighting Challenges of the Rich East

Extreme poverty, access to clean water, and high unemployment rates have long characterized the post conflict Eastern part of Sudan. These challenges are further aggravated by the bordering to Ethiopia and Eritrea and the trespassing of migrant workers which increases demand s on inadequate resources. Climate change and seasonal variation in rains have also affected food productivity in East Sudan leading to serious risks of crop failure and the inevitable loss of incomes to many families. Since Eastern Sudan’s population is predominantly rural, competition over scarce natural resources, health and education presents additional challenges to the government of East Sudan due to lack of accessibility to remote areas.

UNDP’s development interventions in East Sudan dates back to the seventies. In the State of Kassala, the governance programme has successfully transformed states’ capacity to plan and has improved the caliber of the government’s cadre in delivering localities needs and in managing public expenditure with a strong accountability framework at both the locality and state levels.

UNDP Country Director Mr. Sayed Aqa has visited Eastern Sudan during the month of December 2011 where he held with line ministers of Eastern Sudan State and discuss achievements reached by the poverty alleviation–oriented Governance Programme in East Sudan, and highlight efforts made by UNDP and partners to promote peace and stability, through enhancing rule of law, employment generation and transparent governance.

In Kassala State, UNDP has been addressing the issue of unemployment through a number of interventions out of which is the provision of vocational training. A leading example is UNDP’s recent rejuvenation of the Kassala Vocational Training Center. This vocational center offers three-year courses in mechanics and electricity, and has accelerated courses lasting one to six months in auto mechanics, car electricity, general electricity, pump mechanics and welding offered to 120 students a year. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is actively supporting the centre by providing equipment, and training. It will co-sponsor with UNDP a labor market survey to determine which trades can be more easily absorbed early next year.

In Port Sudan, UNDP country director visited a number of Local Development Funds projects implemented in the locality of Sinnkat. Under the Poverty Alleviation Oriented Governance Programme funding is allocated to localities in Red Sea State to improve overall local government service delivery efficiency and transparency and accountability at local level in the Red Sea State. Projects include building of schools in Sinnkat locality, drilling of reservoirs in Halaib locality and support to women center in Port Sudan.


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