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The Quest for Stability in Sudan

Stability
For the region of Sudan and the people who live there, resilience and adversity are far more than just words. They are a waking reality. Sudan has been plagued by decades of war and social unrest resulting in genocide, widespread hunger, a diminishing economy and economic turmoil. In terms of development, Sudan ranks 171 out of 187 countries on the 2013 Humanitarian Development Index. Making matters worse is the ongoing economic loss of oil dependent revenue which has drastically decreased by 75 percent due to the separation of South Sudan. As the economy tanks, so does the food supply in the region, which is in dire need for roughly 2.9 million conflict-affected people in Darfur.

Luckily, rebuilding the country from the inside out seems to be top priority for more than 100 internationally recognized organizations who are trying to raise $1.1 billion for programs in the area which would help approximately 3.1 million people. With roughly half of the population population living below the national poverty line, it’s no wonder how dangerously in need some of the people in the region really are. As one of the top 10 recipients of foreign humanitarian assistance last year, Sudan has been largely dependent on outside assistance to help the country recover and pick itself up when it comes to agriculture and economic opportunity.

Recently, the European Union announced its humanitarian efforts for the 2014 year, which will include aid totaling $20 million, which will be implemented in increments over the next three years in the area and will support food security measurements. With the cooperation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO,) the grant will be incorporated into poverty campaign programs as well as provisions for agricultural technology and seeding. These efforts are in hopes to help recover Sudan’s economy and to encourage agricultural growth in an area where only four percent of arable land is actually cultivated.

Also lending its hand to the efforts in Sudan is the World Food Programme (WFP,) which provides essential food assistance to those most vulnerable in the region for the last 50 years. Starting in 1963, WFP has made Sudan one of the organizations largest operations and has provided food assistance to 3.9 million people. Some of the food assistance that has been contributed include; dried skimmed and whole milk, dried and canned fruits, and vegetable oil from countries such as the United States, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany. The main goal for the WFP is to promote long-term food security in hopes to build resilient communities in the heart of conflict.

There have been a number of lasting efforts that have been implemented into the region including food voucher programs, the Safe Access to Firewood and Alternative Energy initiative, and the Farmers to Market program which gave local farmers and women a second chance at a normal life. In a country where the future is beginning to brim with potential, it is important to acknowledge the harsh realities and challenges that the Sudanese people face, all for the sake of trying to build a better life and bring stability in Sudan.

– Jeffrey Scott Haley
Feature Writer

Sources: World Food Programme – Sudan, World Food Programme – 50 Years, Sudan Vision Daily, Ahram Online