The RRP is a five-year initiative (2005-2010), including four years of implementation. The largest and most comprehensive recovery programme in Sudan, the RRP is managed by UNDP on behalf of the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan with funding of 55.8 million; 49.75 million of which comes from the European Commission, and 1.5 million from the Government of Norway. A total of 44 national and international NGOs are working together in 10 states across the country (Blue Nile, Abyei, River Nile, Red Sea, South Kordofan, Northern Upper Nile, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Warrap and Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal) concentrating on institutional strengthening, improving livelihoods and basic services.
This issue will focus on RRP projects in Red Sea State; where the harsh desert climate and isolation of many of these communities can make projects difficult. But despite the challenges faced, these tight knit communities have demonstrated remarkable results.
Part of the Red Sea State consortium's success is because of the excellent coordination at the community level. Before the RRP began in this state, communities had already formed the Arbaat Development Association (ADA), a local organization that intended to address the region's development needs; but meetings and activities were sporadic and poorly organized.
However, with the encouragement and logistical support of the RRP the group became more active and now meets once a month in Port Sudan to discuss issues and make decisions that affect development of Red Sea State.
These communities have traditionally depended on agriculture and fisheries to sustain themselves; but even with the right skills and strong desire to work, their income was limited. This was due to a lack of resources needed to pay for start-up material such as water pumps for farms and boats for fishermen. Because of the provision of these supplies by the RRP, many families are now earning more than they ever have before.
The fishermen and farmers in Arbaat have not only started successful business initiatives, they have organized themselves into groups that produce and market their goods collectively. The profits made from the fish and vegetables are distributed equally among those who participate in the projects.
This concept of community ownership is exactly what the programme strives to encourage; and proves that real recovery comes from community based, sustainable solutions - the kind that RRP partners are implementing not only in Red Sea State but across Sudan.