George Conway, UNDP Country Director a.i, groundbreaking of Warrap-Akop-Pakur-Mashraar Road, Warrap Town
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Your Excellency, the Governor of Warrap State,
Your Excellency, State Ministers,
Your Excellency, the County Commissioner,
Honourable Members of the State Legislative Assembly,
Representatives of the international development community,
Members of the community,
With the historic independence of the new Republic of South Sudan in July, the Government has made significant strides in creating an environment in which the prospects for peace and prosperity in South Sudan are greater than they've ever been before.
Nonetheless, there are many challenges facing the new nation. Insecurity persists in many parts of the country, and this insecurity is a major barrier to the expansion of basic services and economic growth. As a result, both the national and state Governments have put security as one of their chief priorities for development.
The United Nations has worked alongside the Government of South Sudan, both during the CPA period, and since independence, to create a secure and stable environment, in which the people of South Sudan can begin to benefit from the dividends of peace.
Today, I am proud to be a part of this partnership with the State and local Governments to support their efforts to promote peace and security for communities across Warrap State. The road works being launched today are part of the Warrap Stabilization Programme. This is a programme of the State Government, supported by the United Nations, and funded by the South Sudan Recovery Fund, or SSRF.
The SSRF is a national fund, led by the national Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, which aims to support the State Governments to better meet the needs of their communities and citizens, through projects that enhance security, expand the rule of law, and contribute to creating an environment in which the people can live in safety and dignity. The SSRF is funded with generous support from the Governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Norway.
The projects supported by the SSRF through this programme in Warrap state are based on priorities expressed by citizens across the State. Last year, the Government at national, state and local level undertook a series of consultations across all the counties in Warrap State to understand the needs of the people, and to identify what needed to be done to reduce conflict and improve security.
This consultative process resulted in three main priorities for the SSRF. First, to enable access into areas affected by insecurity, this particular road from Warrap, to Akop, Pakur and Mashraar was prioritized. Second, to expand the coverage of law enforcement in the state, and enable increased access to justice, the programme is supporting the construction of four police stations in strategically positioned locations. And third, given the degree to which access to water is so often a source of conflict, the programme is constructing two haffirs and four boreholes in places where water related conflicts are most prevalent.
All of these works are now being initiated, and we look forward to their successful implementation.
The Warrap Stabilization Programme is just one of the major initiatives being supported by the United Nations and UNDP in Warrap State. Another complementary programme undertaken in partnership with the State Government and the national Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control is constructing an additional three police posts in insecure areas, and 27 additional boreholes in location with high occurrence of conflict over water sources. Earlier today, the Community Security Programme also handed over 6 pickup trucks to the state police service, in order to assist them in their efforts to better outreach to communities.
We hope that the combined impact of these projects will contribute to an environment of peace and security, and create conditions for communities to cultivate their local economies, increase trade and commerce, achieve more sustainable livelihoods, and better access the services their families need.
In closing, I would like to congratulate the State Government, in particular the Governor, and the State Ministries of Finance and Infrastructure, for your leadership on this programme. I would also like to thank the Governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Norway for their generous financial support to the South Sudan Recovery Fund, which made this programme possible. We are also pleased with the partnership we have with UNOPS and PACT, who are the implementing partners on this programme.
And finally, to all members of the community, I hope that these projects will contribute significant steps towards security and development for your communities, so that you can benefit from the peace you worked so hard to achieve.
Thank you very much.