Achieving the MDGs and Reducing Human Poverty

Endowed with rich natural resources and vast, fertile land, Sudan has great potential to become a major international agricultural producer. However, the country remains as one of the least developed in the world.

Past growth in Sudan was not sufficiently broad-based. Investments and services are concentrated in and around Khartoum State with little infrastructure in rural areas. The significant disparities between rural and urban regions has contributed to growing inequalities in the different regions and to an increase in the urban informal sector accounting for more than 60% of the Gross Domestic Product. This state of affairs has encouraged a rural-urban migration that has weakened the agricultural productivity and consequently deepened poverty in both urban and rural areas.

According to the 2011 Human Development Report, Sudan ranked as the 169th country among 177 states. The hardest sector hit by poverty are people living in rural areas, in particular women and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who constitute about 12% of the total population. Latest figures on the Sudan’s poverty rate estimates that 46.5 % of the total population lives in poor conditions and that only 58.7 % of Sudan’s population had access to improved sanitation.

In the educational sector, access to school enrollment has reached 71.1 % in 2010 with notable regional disparities ranging from 93.75% in Khartoum to only 36.1 % in the Red Sea state. Prevalence of child malnutrition is high, at 31.8% in 2010 with a target of reaching 15% for the year 2015.

Gender equality is one of the priority issues for development in Sudan and women are granted a quota of at least 25 percent representation in national or state parliaments in the 2008 Electoral Law, which is also reflected in the real political representation of women in the National Assembly.

UNDP's support in the area of poverty reduction focuses on improving the national capacity to plan and monitor a comprehensive approach to the reduction of human and income poverty, in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Sudan.

In addition to supporting a variety of income-generating activities to reduce poverty, and increase food security and employment in rural Sudan, UNDP continues to promote an institutional, social and economic environment conducive to poverty reduction.

Amongst the key achievements of the MDG project are the conduct of the MDGs localizations at national and two pilot states and support provided to the carrying out of a series of advocacy and sensitization workshops targeting civil society members and media professionals.

UNDP and the Poverty Challenge in Sudan
As a Member State of the United Nations and in signing the Millennium Declaration, Sudan has committed itself to reducing by half the proportion of people living in extreme poverty, which is the first of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - a goal that developing countries aim to have achieved by 2015.

UNDP’s development interventions in Sudan focus on supporting progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This MDG project aims at capacitating Government units to effectively and efficiently implement MDG-responsive programmes and projects through development and institutionalizations of detailed operational mechanism on MDG monitoring in relevant government units’ using core indicator monitoring systems.

UNDP currently provides capacity development to the Ministry of Finance and National Economy (MOFNE). Collectively, this support represents a comprehensive strategy for strengthening national capacities for aid management and co-ordination in Sudan involving all national and foreign aid partners. National counterparts are also assisted in the facilitation of aid planning, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and realizing the 5 year strategic development Plan for Sudan.

As part of its anti-poverty strategy, UNDP works with the Central Bank of Sudan and the Sudanese Microfinance Development Facility to strengthen the national micro-finance coordination mechanism and expand microfinance services across the country (jointly with the Central Bank of Sudan and the Sate of Northern Kordofan).

Strategic development interventions in UNDP aspire to develop the capacity of the Government to manage, coordinate external assistance, and facilitate aid planning and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

UNDP collaborates with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to help micro business and enterprises create career opportunities for graduate students. Additionally, UNDP supports the Ministry of Labor in establishing a voucher based training system that will expand job opportunities for under-graduate students.

Areas of Intervention:

Capacity Development for Pro-poor macro-economic policy analysis and reform: On request of MOFNE, UNDP recently developed a comprehensive project concept note titled Capacity Development for pro-poor Economic Policy Reform for North Sudan. The project aims to strengthen the in-house macroeconomic policy analysis and planning capacity of the Ministry of Finance and related central macro-economic institutions, such as the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS), National Council for Strategic Planning and the Central Bureau of Statistics for which UNDP is supporting the development of the National Strategy for statically capacity. Planned support will pay a specific attention to the need for improved capacities for monitoring and analyzing human development and Poverty trends through appropriate composite matrices.

Poverty Assessments: UNDP Sudan has recently initiated support to MOFNE and CBS to carry out a Poverty Assessment Study based on the 2009 National Baseline Household Survey. The CO will require continued technical support and seed-funding support to finalize and launch the comprehensive support programme for MOFNE.

Support to aid management: UNDP has been engaged in the area of aid management and coordination but aid assistance needs further strengthening in term of level, direction and speedy implementation. The key to unlocking the capacity of the country for achieving MDGs is the enhancement of micro-economic efficiency through development of effective aid and better market access. It is crucial to allocate a portion of ODA for enhancing microeconomic efficiency through strengthening national capacities of government. In line with the Paris Declaration and government national priorities, UNDP aims to lay the foundation of a government-led and results-based aid management system that handles external humanitarian and development resources in a transparent and accountable manner. In addition, to ensure ownership of the government more focus is needed on enhancement of government agencies’ capacities or selecting the modality that will ensure smooth transfer of implementation responsibilities to government agencies. Moving gradually towards national implementation, concurrently with enhancing the capacities of the government in this area, reducing cost of managing aid and streamlining aid with the government’s systems and procedures (while assisting reforming those systems) are clear issues to be addressed.

Enhance National capacities for public policies analysis and advocacy: Conflict in various parts of the country has created serious limitation in development public policies and ability to analyze current development trends in the country; UNDP will work with the government institution particularly human resource ministry to develop a national approach to improve public policies analysis and advocacy.

Industrial policy development: Together with UNIDO, UNDP intends to start a new initiative to support the Ministry of Industry draw lessons from the South Korean industrialization experience with focus on the dynamization and transformation of selected key and priority industries: (a) leather; (b) textile; (c) edible oil; (d) agrochemicals, (e) Food industries and (f) agro machinery. A Project Concept Note and Terms of Reference was prepared and communicated to the South Korean Ambassador in Khartoum to facilitate with selection of appropriate Government-affiliated institute to forge bilateral cooperation with the Sudanese Ministry of Industry. The country office will also look into possibilities of introducing and promoting green, sustainable, and inclusive technologies through the initiative. Corporate technical support may be required as the initiative unfolds.

Capacity development for Human Development and MDGs oriented planning and achievement: UNDP is supporting National strategic planning of the country through producing Human Development and MDGs Reports to enhance policy dialogue for inclusive growth. The preparation processes and dissemination of findings for both reports in consultation between civil society, development practitioners, academicians and government, to advocate for improving the lives of the people. Further corporate technical assistance will be required in strengthening partnerships and institutional mechanisms for capacity development for human development and MDGs oriented local planning at national State and district level. Additionally support will be required in strengthening engagement of civil society in development planning and accountability (national academic research and consultancy institutions) to formulate practical pro growth options for national policy makers that are tied to nationally determined targets.

National employment strategy: The Sudanese President appointed a high policy committee for employment. The government requested technical support from UNDP to convene a roundtable discussion to develop a road map to develop national strategies on employment. The government through the Ministry of Labor also asked UNDP to establish an active labor market data base to monitors the labor market in order to support the national strategies on employment. UNDP in partnership with ILO the lead technical agency will work on the domain of employment UNDP will support the development of the National Youth Employment Framework through sensitization of national counterparts for promotion of youth employment and round tables discussion/ workshops in coordination with the youth employment initiatives. This approach will both serve the purpose of promoting an enabling environment for increasing youth employment in Sudan among the line ministries while solidifying the sense of incorporating the youth employment as priority area in the National development frameworks, and be a step towards establishing a coordinated and integrated approach to addressing youth employment.

Microfinance policy reforms: Furthermore, in order to strengthen the youth employment initiative, UNDP continuously supports the microfinance sectors in Sudan as a prime pro poor poverty reduction approach through the capacity development of microfinance providers and clients to adopt best practice microfinance-services and to advocate for enabling microfinance policy and regulatory environment on different levels. This will be articulated through technical support, financial support, and capacity development of Microfinance provider, and national

National dialogue on poverty reduction best practices in Sudan: In the last few years many interventions have been tried to combat poverty Sudan such as women vocational training and rural community development initiative. As a mean of document best practices and knowledge sharing. The ministry of social welfare has requested support to conduct an evaluation for these initiatives and document best practices that can provide the basis for public dialogue on poverty reduction. The CO will require technical support to establish a strong evaluation team and assistance in identifying top-notch international resource persons for to coordinate the knowledge dissemination in a national Conference on Poverty.

Conditional Cash Transfers: For the first time Government of Sudan, through the Ministry of Social Welfare, is piloting a model for social welfare in six states. UNDP may be required to provide advisory support on comparative welfare models (conditional and non-conditional) on short notice, for which HQ technical assistance would be needed.

Vocational training: The government of Sudan is planning to introduce the model of VCT in Sudan and is requesting UNDP to provide technical support to the establishment process.

Livelihoods: UNDP Sudan has been engaged in livelihood initiatives to support post-conflict recovery processes at community level. However, the approach needs discussion with a view to further elaborate the linkages to longer term poverty reduction objectives while remaining sensitive to conflict risks.

Private Sector Development: UNDP supported through proposing a strategy for improving the private sector in promoting micro-finance institutions to provide pro-poor services and encouraging investment in SMEs. Corporate technical support will be required in strengthening institutional capacities and the improvement of inclusive market mechanisms.

• Finally, at the request of the Government of Sudan, UNDP has provided technical advice to the organization of the International donor and investor conference for Eastern Sudan, which took place in December 2010 in Kuwait, during which over USD 3.5 billion were pledged in support to the poverty stricken region of East Sudan.

MDG Country Reporting and Poverty Monitoring
Creating Opportunities for Youth Employment in Sudan
Capacity Development for Aid Management and Co-ordination
Preparation of Sudan National Human Development Reports

Closed Projects
Participatory Economic Policy Reform in Support of peace building
Gender Mainstreaming Initiative
Preparatory Support to Microfinance and Micro-Business Development Programming in Sudan

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