Sudan

Darfur Donors Projects: US $ 2 Billion

Jeddah 28/2/2010:

Ambassador Atta Al-Mannan Bakhiet, OIC Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs (ASGHA) disclosed that the value of the development projects which the international donors conference, to be held in Cairo (21 March) , envisages to mobilize for Darfur reconstruction and development, amount to almost US$ 2 billion.

In a press conference held in his office at the OIC General Secretariat headquarters, Ambassador Bakhiet stated that the Conference Preparatory Committee (CPC) elaborated a comprehensive financial plan taking into consideration the required follow-up mechanism to allocate and disburse the funds offered for the reconstruction of Darfur. He went on to add that the international donors conference for Darfur reconstruction and development (IDCFRD) is flexible as it does not stop at the donations for financing various development projects , but proceeded to cover an item on soft loans, an understanding on which may be reached with the Government of the Sudan. The list of projects to be proposed during the IDCFRD was prepared and examined in detail by the OIC, experts from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in coordination with the Sudanese Government.

On the other hand, Ambassador Bakhiet launched the conference web site which provides all details relating to projects and their costs. Donors may access them to determine their contributions on their basis.The conference link is available at the OIC web site www.oic-oci.org.

The IDCFRD will be held in Cairo under the co-chairmanship of Egypt and Turkey. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of the Sudan are CPC members which also includes the OIC and the IDB.

Ambassador Bakhiet indicated that , with a view to ensuring effective and accurate pledges, the OIC will allow direct follow-up of these projects by the donors, or through the follow-up mechanism to be coordinated with the Sudanese Government under OIC supervision through its office , the agreement of which was signed in Khartoum last January to provide continued and close follow-up of the allocation of the funds and pledges to be mobilized in Cairo.

The ASGHA stressed that the Conference will seek to promote several development sectors in Darfur as part of efforts to rehabilitate the region as an agricultural producer capable of self financing in line with a system of development projects varying from basic needs, such as water, agriculture and animal resources, to development fields such as cement industry, roads , agricultural manufacturing, rural development, housing , construction planning and even human capacity building in areas such as health, education and women development.

Ambassador Bakhiet pointed out that the IDCFRD is aimed developing and increasing the production of food products in the sector of agriculture. He indicated that the total cost of such a project is in the tune of US$ 196 million.

At the level of rural development, Ambassador Bakhiet said that is this project's objective is to achieve social and psychological stability for families hit by the war, through adoption of appropriate micro-finance methods aimed a maximizing the use of Darfur rich and various resources while capitalizing on small scale industries and other revenue generating activities. He indicated that the project's total cost is more that US$120 million.

The OIC ASGHA said that building human capacities can be realized through promotion of health an education. The Conference will seek to rehabilitate and reconstruct health utilities and upgrade their services, particularly in war-torn areas which is a prerequisite condition for a successful voluntary process of refugees return.

Ambassador Bakhiet went on to add that the project covers reconstruction and rehabilitation of 41 schools in Darfur as follows : 24 basic schools (8 for each state) 8 high boarding schools (3 for North Darfur, 4 for West Darfur and 2 for South Darfur), 3 technical schools (1 for each State), 6 vocational training centres ( 2 for each state). The project also seeks provision of school equipment for basic and high schools, teachers capacity building , school environment improvement , creation of an attractive educational environment for the pupils, increased children enrollment at school age, regaining the educational set up lost during the war, and enhancing teachers efficiency . The total costs of the health and education projects amount up to US$ 227 million.

As voluntary return is considered to be the ultimate goal of the conference, Ambassador Bakhiet, comments saying that one of the most important projects the conference seeks to achieve is permanent shelter which can be promoted through the construction of model villages for resettling in the three Darfur states. This project comes within the framework of the program for the return of displaced persons to their villages in Darfur. He stated that construction of good houses is one of the factors of successful return. The target is to build 120 model villages with the average of 400 residential units for each including education, health, water and social services broken down as follows : 27 villages for N. Darfur, 43 for S.Darfur and 50 for W. Darfur. Furthermore, he indicated that the ultimate value of these projects reaches up to US$ 745 million. They are considered to be the hugest projects as they present the most salient factor in encouraging the displaced to return on voluntary basis which is a goal for peace and stability promotion In Darfur.

In this context, Ambassador Bakhiet indicated that water projects costs stand at over US$ 200 million, broken down between construction of water stations, water stations and storages maintenance, water distribution, establishment of a rural water net. This is achieved through construction of dams and digging of wells, throughout the three states in addition to water purification and related diseases control.

Moreover, he said that to ensure sustained development, and against the background of the cement paucity and high demand, the conference devoted projects for cement factories, roads and agro industry. Costs of these projects are in the vicinity of US$ 600 million , part of which will be in the form of soft loans , to be agreed upon with the Government of the Sudan. The projects implementation process is expected to take from four to five years.