Delegation of the European Union to Sudan

Speech by H.E. Ambassador Robert van den Dool Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan On the occasion of the launching of the Health Pro Project

Khartoum, 01/02/2021 - 14:55, UNIQUE ID: 210201_11
Speeches of the Ambassador

Your Excellency/ies
Federal Minister of Health Dr. Osama Abd Elrahim

State Ministers of Health

Ambassador of Italy Mr. Gianluigi Vassallo

Distinguished Representative of WHO 

Director-General for Gloabal Health Dr. Amel Elfatih

Director-Generals and Directors of the Federal and State Ministries

Representative of the Italian Cooperation Dr. Vincenzo Racalbuto 

Representative of GOAL Mr. Nathan Kennedy

Distinguished Colleagues and Friends!

Thank you for inviting the European Union to this side-event of your National Planning workshop to inaugurate our joint “HealthPro” Project.

Last Wednesday, I attended briefing about the 2021 National Budget at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. I commended the government for the transparency and consultation efforts in preparing the budget. The EU is also pleased to see the increased commitment of the Government of Sudan to Human Development and social sectors in these difficult times. The budget allocations for social protection, education and health represent a significant change as compared to the previous regime. Although the proof of the budget pudding is always in the eating of the execution, with 9% of the budget allocated to health, the EU sees the Government moving into the right direction.

I would also like to commend the Federal Ministry of Health on the development of the new National Health Policy and Strategy 2021-2024. This document will give guidance to health systems development in Sudan over the transition phase and beyond. For the EU, this document comes very timely, as we are preparing our programming of cooperation with Sudan for the period 2021-2027. 
Human Development shall remain an important focus for the EU including continued support to health. 


The EU appreciates that we have been invited to comment on the National Health Policy and Strategy 2021-2024 and I am pleased that have been able to reciprocally share with you our draft programming document “Health Systems Strengthening towards Universal Health Coverage” for your comments. 
Our programming refers to and incorporates key strategic directives of the National Health Policy and Strategy 2021-2024 to allow for a maximum of alignment of EU support to the policies and strategies of the Transitional Government.

Before the Revolution, the EU did not want to directly support the incumbent regime and could not channel EU funds through the Government. Our projects were implemented by the UN, NGOs, and to a large extend also the Italian Cooperation. 


The project we are launching today builds upon the experiences gathered by the Italian Cooperation in the East and will be implemented again in partnership with AICS together with GOAL. I am therefore pleased to launch the project jointly with my Italian colleague Ambassador Gianluigi Vassallo.


Major emphasis of EU support to the health systems has been:

•    The strengthening of Local Health Systems
•    Health Financing Reforms and the expansion of Health Insurance Coverage
•    Implementing the Humanitarian-Development Nexus particularly in the post-conflict situation in Darfur
•    Responding to COVID-19, responding to the crisis, strengthening the health system and sustainably strengthening health security in Sudan

With “HealthPro”, representing a value of EUR 15 million, we want to strengthen the local health system operationalising the “humanitarian-development and peace nexus”. The Juba Peace Agreement now provides the opportunity for transition from humanitarian aid to the building a sustainable health system.

The EU has given displaced populations priority in operationalising the nexus approach. “HealthPro” promotes durable solutions for displacement-affected communities. It aims at improving access to quality health services in North and South Darfur strengthening the different building blocks of the decentralised health system. It responds to the fact that the huge IDP camps in Al Fasher and Nyala have been converting into sub-urban quarters. 

A generation of young people has grown up in these camps. Many of these young people are now looking for their future in this urban environment. The EU responds to the needs of this generation not only through our support to health. We are also implementing projects for Technical and Vocational Training in Darfur.

“HealthPro” brings together experienced humanitarian and development cooperation actors, GOAL and the Italian Development Cooperation, building upon the experience of similar approach implemented in West Darfur.

Implementation has been delayed by the political changes and COVID-19, but I am pleased that now we are in a position to start.

I wish the project and the National Planning Workshop success.

I thank you for your kind attention!

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