Khartoum, Sudan (August 14, 2012) — At the invitation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Near East Foundation participated in a recent roundtable on early recovery in Darfur.
At the two-day USAID-sponsored forum, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, discussion focused on the most effective ways to use existing resources to address the complex and evolving needs of the people of Darfur as increasing numbers of internally displaced people prepare to return voluntarily to their communities.
While some addressed the need for ongoing humanitarian assistance, others expressed the increasing importance of support for reconstituting livelihoods – such as support to farmers trying to cultivate their fields again after returning home.
Omaya Gismalla Mohamed, NEF’s Program Development Manager in Sudan, shared insights from a recent survey conducted in communities in Central Darfur in the context of NEF’s recently launched “Resources, Economic Security, and Peace” project.
In Central Darfur, NEF found that many internally displaced people (IDPs) expressed interest in returning to their home villages if certain conditions were met – including security and access to economic opportunity. According to surveys from others, including the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, there are already considerable numbers of returnees in many villages.
Recent assessments have also indicated that community recovery is happening now without international assistance, leading some to highlight the need to adjust recovery interventions to meet the changing demands.
A future meeting will be held in Darfur to follow-up on the recommendations and consensus of the July forum, including the need for Darfur communities to take a leadership role in recovery projects and the necessity to coordinate with local government – particularly the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA).
NEF is currently working in Central Darfur State under a grant from the United Nations Development Programme to manage conflict, improve livelihoods, and build food security through collaborative natural resource management. The two-year project will benefit an estimated 900,000 people in 25 villages.
The Near East Foundation is a U.S.-based international development NGO leading innovative social and economic change in the Middle East and Africa for almost 100 years. Founded in 1915, NEF helps build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. NEF field staff – all of them from the countries in which they work – partner with local organizations to implement grassroots solutions and to empower citizens through “knowledge, voice, and enterprise.” To learn more visit www.neareast.org.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. For more information about USAID’s programs visit www.usaid.gov.