Moving forward for Recovery and Stabilization: UNDP and Development Partners Visit Project sites in Aweil

Jun 2, 2017

The delegation visits UNDP Vocational Training Center in Aweil. Photo: UNDP

31 May 2017, Juba —   UNDP jointly with UNICEF, FAO, and WFP is championing a joint UN Recovery and Stabilization programme in Aweil. In contrast with the traditional model of sequenced interventions moving from lifesaving to recovery and then development, the joint programme builds on a humanitarian- development nexus in line with the World Humanitarian Summit outcomes and is aligned to the UN Secretary-General’s thrust on ‘a new way of working’.

From 29 – 30 May 2017, UNDP Acting Country Director and Head of Programme, Mr. Jean Luc Stalon, along with FAO Head of Sub Office, Jackson Lita, WFP Head of Sub Office, Mac Yuang, and UNICEF Head of Partnerships and Resources Mobilization, Angela Griep, accompanied by a high-level delegation of development partners including the Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, H.E. Kiya Masahiko, the Head of German Development Cooperation in South Sudan, Bernhard Worm, the Head of Sweden Office in South Sudan, Henric Rasbrant, and the Head of Sweden Cooperation in South Sudan, Ola Nilsmo, travelled to Aweil to review progress of the joint UN Recovery and Stabilization programme.

“The new way of working emphasizes simultaneous humanitarian assistance and support for recovery and resilience. People can not only rely on relief assistance. It is very important to save lives, but at the same time there is a need to help communities to build their resilience, rebuild their livelihoods and revitalize local economies. The motivation of this joint integrated programme is to support self-reliant communities and progressively reduce their dependence on relief assistance. It is a way to break the circle of poverty and, since, recovery and stabilization is the core mandate of UNDP, we are very much committed to playing our role,” explained Mr. Jean Luc Stalon.

The delegation visited the vocational training centre and community market constructed by UNDP in Aweil, WFP general food distribution site, WFP/FAO Brace 2 resilience group farming at Kuom, and UNICEF/WFP nutrition center at Maduany.

Recovery photo okThe delegation at WFP/FAO Brace 2 resilience group farming in Kuom. Photo: UNDP

“It was a very good and productive visit because we could observe how this new initiative can be launched very soon. Some preparations have been made, and some elements are already in place. We were impressed by the achievements made by those UN agencies that are already making an impact within the recovery and stabilization programme," said the Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, H.E. Kiya Masahiko. "We came together to facilitate the synergy among the UN agencies. The water can be used for farming and the products from the farms can be marketed through UNDP community market, so all these agencies' contribution now is being combined”, he added.

During the visit, donors had the opportunity to see the activities that the different agencies are implementing, as well as provide inputs on how the recovery and stabilization programme can add value and move forward.

WFP food distribution site AweilDevelopment partners at WFP general food distribution site in Aweil. Photo: UNDP

“From the German Embassy, we are very much into how we can support South Sudan without doing exclusively humanitarian assistance. This project is very important for us because we can move into recovery and try to make people capable of doing more than just receiving food, using their capacities to do something with what they got. Aweil is a place where you can do more because there is stability”, expressed the Head of German Development Cooperation in South Sudan, Bernhard Worm,”

“As donors we are looking forward to have a continuous dialogue with the UN system. […] Now we want to see how they are planning to work in more concrete terms, a way of operationalizing the one UN approach, where the UN system works as one, together, and that is the most important for us. If we can find different ways of doing that, then, we are ready to see how we may be able to support,” concluded the Head of Sweden office in South Sudan, Mr. Henric Rasbrant.

Aweil GovernmentDeputy Aweil State Governor, Hon. Simon Ober Mawut (center), receives the delegation with welcome gifts, traditional dresses and necklaces. Photo: UNDP

The joint programme started as a pilot project in Aweil state and has three pillars focused on addressing food insecurity and malnutrition, and strengthening livelihoods, community social cohesion and local governance systems. During the meeting that took place on Monday with Aweil local government at the State Secretariat, Deputy Aweil State Governor, Hon. Simon Ober Mawut, thanked the delegation for the visit and emphasized the suitability of Aweil State to host the joint programme.

“Aweil is a stable place in terms of security. Last week, we had some changes in the local government, but the handover has been peaceful. People here have welcomed the changes. Although we live in peace our community is facing a lot of challenges in terms of access to water and education, and we are facing malnutrition. The recovery and stabilization programme is much needed here, and we believe our state is the perfect place to be implemented,” he said.

The best practice and lesson learned in the pilot programme at Aweil will be replicated in other parts of South Sudan in a phased manner subject to the availability of resources.