UNDP to Reinforce Stabilization and Recovery Efforts in Aweil State

Aug 23, 2016

Governor of Aweil State His Excellency Ronald Ruai Deng, UNDP Acting Country Director Jean-Luc Stalon, and Mayor of Aweil Town Mr. Simon Tong Deng take a tour of the Aweil Town market on Wednesday August 17, 2016. Photo: UNDP

The UNDP South Sudan Acting Country Director Jean-Luc Stalon, accompanied by senior UNDP programme staff, recently visited Aweil State to consult with the governor and other key stakeholders on recovery and stabilization projects that would consolidate peace and stability in a state that has largely remained peaceful.

Aweil State has been confronted by a massive humanitarian crisis characterized by severe hunger and poverty, making a large number of the population dependent on humanitarian assistance. The purpose of UNDP's visit aimed at exploring how humanitarian assistance could be complemented by recovery and stabilization through reinvigorating the local economy and strengthening local government capacity for service delivery. Issues such as improving local tax revenue generation, and building community resilience through livelihood training and micro-enterprise initiatives were extensively discussed with local authority.

The team met and discussed with the key stakeholders including the Governor of Aweil State His Excellency Ronald Ruai Deng; Minister of Finance and Public Service Honorable Garang Majak Bol; the Ministry of Local Government and Law Enforcement; the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, UNMISS, UNICEF, WFP, UNOCHA, UNFAO, and other development partners.

“The meetings and consultations between government officials, UN partners, and UNDP specifically focused on Aweil State as a prime location for inter-related development and humanitarian support,” said Acting Country Director Jean-Luc Stalon. “We view Aweil State as a relatively peaceful zone where recovery and stabilization interventions are critical to complement humanitarian assistance and to avoid seeing the fragile situation deteriorate. We need to have a balanced approach of humanitarian and recovery support in Aweil.”

UNDP’s assessment, in consultation with the government, recognizes the numerous challenges facing the state despite relative peace and security.

Aweil State remains the poorest in South Sudan. Road connections prove challenging during the rainy season, severely limiting commerce between Aweil State and neighboring states, as well as Juba. The state currently has some of the highest levels of malnutrition in children under 5 years old and emergency food air drops are often the only lifeline for struggling families in the area. According WFP, it supports more than 600,000 people in Aweil. The state government has a clear leadership and vision but continues to face limited human, logistical and IT capacity to serve the needs of its citizens.

After extensive consultation with the local authorities and development partners, both before and after the August fact-finding mission, UNDP is pleased to announce the initiation and implementation of the following recovery and stabilization projects in Aweil State:

Market Development: UNDP will support the development of the local economy in Aweil through the construction of community infrastructure and a market space targeting women and vulnerable groups. The state government has identified and approved the location of the market within the master plan of the Aweil town. It is expected that the market will encourage production of vegetable and agriculture activities to combat food insecurity in the area.

Vocational Training: UNDP will support livelihood skills training UNDP will support through the establishment of Aweil Vocational Training Centre. The Centre will serve as a hub for entrepreneurship and enterprise development, and help empower youth and women with employability in the region. The government has identified and approved an incomplete building for UNDP to develop into a vocational training center.

Local Government Development and Public Financial Management:  UNDP will support the state government through a series of targeted initiatives designed to strengthen local tax management systems, human resource capacity building, and e-governance. Tactics will include trainings for staff and management officials, provision of IT equipment, and solar power installation.

The Recovery and Stabilization Programme in South Sudan is supported by generous donor countries.

“Continued donor commitment to stabilization efforts is a lifeline to communities ripe to make gains in recovery and human development indicators,” said Mr. Stalon. “UNDP unequivocally believes in a balanced approach of development and humanitarian interventions as the only way forward to build resilience and insulate the citizens of South Sudan from protracted crisis.”

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