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Japan funds UN-Habitat project to support IDPs and host communities in South Darfur, Sudan

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Community of Um Ganah, Eid Elfursan Locality celebrating the launching of UN-Habitat project funded by the Government of Japan © UN-Habitat Sudan

Nyala, Sudan April 27, 2021 - Japan is providing USD 810,000 in funding to UN-Habitat’s Sudan’s project “Emergency Support to IDP Returnees in Eid Elfursan Locality, South Darfur State” which began in March for a year.

The project will benefit some 17,000 returned Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host communities in Um Ganah Administrative Unit of Eid Elfursan Locality, South Darfur State. This consists of Um Ganah village with surrounding 17 cluster villages, 58 kilometres southwest of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

Um Ganah is one of the communities that has seen a huge number of IDP returnees who face a lack of basic services, COVID-19 mitigation measures, public facilities and security of land rights.

Through the support of Japan, the project aims to support sustainable IDP returns and ensure the security of both the returned IDPs and hosting communities through the development of guiding principles for IDP returns and securing their land rights. The project also aims to enhance self-reliance of the returned IDPs and hosting communities particularly youth and women through self-help construction and improvement of basic services and public facilities. COVID-19 mitigation measures will also be introduced in the community.

Mr. Takashi Hattori, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of the Sudan said the funding showed that the Government of Japan placed emphasis on providing urgent support for the life-saving activities and the stable return of displaced persons in Sudan.

“With the rising need to support IDPs’ living conditions and their daily security, the efforts of UN-Habitat are valuable because they focus on both the provision of urgent support, and on sustainable solutions for IDPs to effectively settle down in their desired destinations with a more concrete sense of their land property,” the Ambassador said.

He added: “In addition to its impact on the lives of IDP returnees and hosting communities, the project is associated with NAPSA, the New Approach for the Peace and Stability in Africa, which was launched in TICAD7 by the Government of Japan. NAPSA aims at supporting efforts to address the root causes of conflicts with respect to African states’ ownership, hence this project symbolizes the tenet of NAPSA.”

Mr. Masayuki Yokota, the Head of UN-Habitat Country Programme in Sudan, underlined the critical challenges in Sudan caused by increasing numbers of IDPs, refugees and returnees in need of urgent and practical solutions to enhance their resilience and to ensure human security. He said the large number of IDPs around major cities, towns, and villages, was leading to unplanned, rapid urbanization without adequate basic infrastructure and services.

Mr. Masayuki thanked the Government of Japan for supporting the project to ensure that both IDPs and the hosting communities can live in dignity.

The Governor of South Darfur State Mr. Musa Mehdi, expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan saying: “In 2018-2019, the Government of Japan supported the project on “Peaceful IDP Returns in Alsalam Locality, South Darfur State” that was well-designed and successfully implemented by UN-Habitat and meant the lives and the capacity of the people were strengthened with human dignity. This new project will ensure sustainable reintegration of the returned IDPs, mitigating of COVID-19 pandemic, and provision of basic services in terms of water, health, education, and solar power systems with securing land tenure in Um Ganah village.”

Last year, Japan provided UN-Habitat Sudan with USD 800,000 to support sustainable IDP returns and coexistence of IDPs and hosting communities in Tawilla Locality, North Darfur State.