The United Nations launched a human settlement support program in Sudan, which will benefit communities in the White Nile state, hosting 185,000 refugees fleeing the war-torn south.
Japan is playing a role in the support program. An estimated 67,000 Sudanese people, returning to South Sudan, will also benefit from the program
Head of the Sudan United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), Wael Al-Ashhab told a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday that his government-supported program launched a project to support host communities affected by the massive refugee influx.
According to the UN official, the project aims to provide “safe and clean markets” that will be accessible centers for host communities and returning citizens from South Sudan.
The project includes self-sustaining community development, training and empowerment for young people and women, a set of environmentally friendly materials, and setting conditions to move from emergency response to long-term solutions to population issues in the region.
According to Al-Ashhab, the White Nile State hosts 185,000 refugees from South Sudan, about 36.5 percent of the total 455,000 displaced refugees.
For his part, Japan’s Ambassador in Khartoum Shinji Urabayashi told reporters that the aim of the project is ultimately the successful integration of refugees and the local population.
“It is very important to integrate refugees and members of the community together and involve them in improving their living environment ... That this process of cooperation will create harmony between members of society and refugees,” he added.
Less than two years after South Sudan's secession from Sudan and its transformation into an independent state in 2011, a bitter war broke out between the ruling factions.
Conflict over power has turned into a civil war between the Dinka clans, resulting in the death of tens of thousands of people and the displacement of nearly two million people.