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 areas 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 month's issue will focus on Central Equatoria, where the consortium, led by Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), with partners Action Africa Help International, ZOA Refugee Care, Sudan Health Association, New Sudan Council of Churches, and Sustainable Community Outreach Programme for Empowerment are showing great success; particularly in the area of agriculture.
Things like farming and beekeeping are traditional activities in this region, but without the proper tools and training, they remain subsistence activities and bring in little to no income. Recognizing the need for capacity building, the RRP created an office for agricultural experts from the county agriculture department to sit. The office, located within the ICCO compound in Wonduruba helps RRP staff and agricultural extension workers come together to train local community members. The compound is surrounded by thriving nurseries with fruit, grains and vegetables; where people are taught how to harvest their own crops.
Many women-headed households are benefitting from this training and demonstrating that given the tools and knowledge they need, they are capable of tackling the agriculture sector. These women are not only feeding their children with the food they are growing, but generating income for entire communities.
Perhaps most notably, they are increasing the flow of domestic produce in a region where even though it is possible to grow vegetables and fruits, the market is still flooded by food coming from neighboring Uganda and Kenya.
In the same vein of encouraging self sufficiency, the RRP business skills training and microcredit schemes are helping traders expand their business as well as their confidence; and the Ganji Life skills centre is sending young adults back to their communities with the skills they need to start small business ventures.
Like so many other RRP initiatives, the project's success lies in the will of the beneficiaries to work in tandem with the programme. Here in Central Equatoria, a growing economy is taking shape; largely because the people of this region are taking initiative.