The projects will contribute to conflict prevention and social cohesion. The €4 million funding for the project comes from the EU's Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace.
The Sudanese Minister for Social Welfare, the HAC commissioner and the EU Ambassador to Sudam launched the project in Khartoum.
Ambassador Robert van den Dool delivered the following speech at the launch:
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great joy to be here at the official launch of not just one, but actually three projects funded by the European Union, aiming to contribute to conflict prevention and social cohesion in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, implemented by our partner organisations ZOA, CARE and Search for Common Ground.
The European Union takes a strong interest in peace and stability in Sudan and we believe that dialogue is critical to effectively defuse tensions before they escalate.
The idea to contribute to conflict prevention and reconciliation in the Two Areas, especially during these early days of the transitional period, emerged last year, right after the ousting of the Bashir regime in April. The EU regards it as crucial that not only Khartoum and the other urban centres of Sudan benefit from the ongoing transition, but particularly also the populations in Sudan's peripheries, as they have suffered most from conflict and marginalization in the past. We reflected on and discussed at length the pressing needs of the periphery and pathways for intervention in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile with many potential partners. These projects are the result of this extensive reflection, analysis and consultation. They are based on a multi-dimensional approach to the instability in the Two Areas.
Firstly, in the ''Sustainable Peace and Resilience in Darfur project'', the Dutch NGO ZOA aims to contribute to sustained peace and resilience in the Darfur region, and in particular
Secondly, our partner organization Search for Common Ground will strengthen women and youth-led approaches to reconciliation and conflict prevention in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in the project ''Strengthening Women and Youth-led Approaches to Reconciliation and Conflict Prevention in South Kordofan and Blue Nile''. The project has three interrelated objectives and corresponding outcomes, as follows:
And thirdly, CARE Nederland will implement the project ''Promoting peace and socio-economic development among conflict-affected communities in Sudan''. This project will focus on establishing and strengthening local conflict prevention and resolution systems; monitoring and early warning of conflict prevention and resolution; sustainable management of natural resources and creating Gender-responsive sustainable livelihoods opportunities, with a focus on women and youth empowerment, economic resilience and skills strengthening. This action will be implemented in East and South Darfur and in South Kordofan.
All in all, these three projects represent a total investment of 4 million euro in supporting local communities, natural resource management, and creating livelihood opportunities for women and youth in the Sudanese periphery.
The EU is a value based community and has as core value to uphold human rights, rule of law and to promote peace and security. We therefore have a strategic interest in preventing violence and instability globally. We are at the forefront of stabilisation efforts worldwide, mainly supporting partner countries and organisations in strengthening their institutional capacities as well as the resilience of local communities.
This is not an easy task and will require collaboration with both the Government. I am therefore very happy to see that the Minister of Labour and Social Development with us, as well as the Humanitarian Aid Commissioner. We count on the continued Government support to local peace and reconciliation committees, which have shown to be advancing peace in local communities, also after the end of these projects.
On top of the all-important government support, coordination is crucial. I am delighted that the three organisations, ZOA, CARE and Search for Common Ground, have been working together from the start, in order to create synergies between their actions. They will also conduct some project activities together, in order to use the resources available in the most effective way. However, these organisations can only make their work a success with the help of their local implementing partners; i.e. Sustainable Action Group, United Peace Organisation, ERRADA, Badya, Umserdiba and PASS.
The EU actively supports the need to engage, empower, protect, and support women and girls in order to help all countries achieving sustainable and lasting peace and security as intrinsic components of sustainable development. We commend all organisations involved in the actions to be launched here today, for putting a particular emphasis on women's role in conflict prevention.
Last but not least, I would personally also like to acknowledge the indispensable contribution of our colleagues of the Foreign Policy Instrument unit based in Nairobi, who have worked tirelessly to bring these actions to life.
We are eager to see how these actions will allow tying the communities further together, promoting dialogue and peaceful dispute resolution. I am personally looking forward to visit some of the project sites myself in the near future and I will make an effort to bring some of my colleagues from Khartoum along, as witnessing these projects in full swing is the best way to understand the dynamics of women and youth driven transformation in this beautiful country.
In conclusion, I would like to take the opportunity to wish our partners best of luck with this challenging endeavour and reassure them that they can count on the EU's support in the process.
I thank you very much for your kind attention.