Donors pledge support in Aweil

After witnessing the progress of the recovery and stabilization program pilot project being rolled out in Aweil state, three donor countries have pledged their support to the program.

The donor countries represented by the Japanese Ambassador Kiya Masahiko, the Swedish Ambassador Henric Rasbrant, and Bernhard Worm, the German head of Development Corporation,  made the pledge after concluding a joint visit with UN agencies on Tuesday.

The UN agencies include United Nations International Children Educational Funds (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Food for Agriculture (UNFAO), and World Food Programme (WHO) jointly rolling out the recovery and stabilization of pilot project in Aweil State.

The donors and the four UN agencies visited UNDP vocational skill training Centre and community market in Aweil town; WFP food distribution site in Makuack Awiit in Aweil town, WFP/ BRACE 2 resilience group farming at Kuom, and the UNICEF/WFP nutrition Centre in Maduny.

After the visits, Japanese Ambassador Kiya Masahiko said he is impressed by the resilience of the people and their willingness to improve their own livelihoods by providing a stable environment.

He said the major bilateral donors including the United States and Switzerland will come together to support the program and expand it to cover many projects to improve the livelihoods of the people, and ensure stability in the state.

Masahiko said the donors can also push for UN agencies through their works to contribute to the project.

The Swedish Ambassador Henric Rasbrant said the most important thing for him was to get out of Juba and talk to the affected people and government to see that the real problems are solved.

He said the donors are looking at continuous dialogue with the UN agencies on results framework, operation funds and other things. The local engagement and commitment in contributing to the project, is also important, he said.

Rasbrant noted that the donors are now waiting to receive results framework and operational work plans from the UN agencies, and they would plan on how to operationalize the project.

He said it is important that the UN agencies work together in implementing projects as one UN family.

The communities should continue to engage with the agencies and contribute to the process of implementing the recovery and stabilization program, he noted.

Bernhard Worm, the German head of Development Corporation said they (donors) are looking at helping the country recover through helping it produce its own food instead of providing humanitarian assistance which is not sustainable. “The humanitarian needs can be substituted by recovery funding,” said Worm.

He added that the local people should contribute by having the interests, motivation and efforts to help the UN agencies implement the recovery and stabilization program.

Stallon Jean Luk, UNDP Acting Country Director said the UN agencies will work together to contribute in helping the country recover from the famine.

However, he noted that there is still much work to be done in terms of investment in the social services which challenges social welfare of the people.

According to the joint recovery and stabilization program, UNICEF and FAO would plan and build community water storage systems simultaneously catering for the needs of human and livestock consumption.

FAO and UNDP would also bring together synergies foe incentivizing agricultural production and exchange through linking up the farmers to the markets, and small businesses.

UNICEF and FAO would work with the communities on growing select crops linked to school feeding to augment to nutritional support.

By Jale Richard

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