Juba – The Government of the Netherlands has contributed USD 3 million to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support stability and facilitate conflict resolution in the Abyei Administrative Area, a contested area on the border of Sudan and South Sudan.
Due to its status, Abyei has limited government resources for basic services and much of the infrastructure has been destroyed during episodes of violence related to longstanding intercommunal tensions in the area.
The support of the Dutch Government, signed today in the presence of a representative from South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and a representative from the Embassy of Sudan in Juba, will enable IOM to strengthen its focus on building resilience, promote peaceful coexistence, and enhance inclusive local governance mechanisms among communities, returnees, and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In the three years of the project, IOM will conduct community peace dialogues, build the capacity of local leadership, provide business start-up kits, vocational/business skills training, deliver mental health and psychosocial support services and increase access to basic social services.
“Under this project, IOM will strengthen peace and social cohesion amongst communities in Abyei, whilst supporting a conducive environment for recovery through tailored livelihoods and psychosocial support to enable communities to become more resilient to shocks, whilst creating productive and beneficial outputs for the wider region,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy. He added that peacebuilding activities, including community dialogues, and social, cultural, and recreational activities, are critical for peaceful cohesion.
“The Netherlands wants to contribute to a stable and more peaceful Abyei, putting the needs of people first, and create a conducive environment for conflict resolution amongst the local communities,” said the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ms. Janet Alberda.
She noted that this contribution made from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, The Hague, is a response to the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council’s repeated calls for development and reconciliation projects in the area and noted the importance of the continuing work from Sudan and South Sudan to reach a sustainable resolution for the status of Abyei.
IOM has had a long-standing presence in Abyei and has supported over 100,000 individuals to date. Through close engagement with local administration, humanitarian and other partners, IOM initiatives provide an important contribution to stabilization and recovery processes in the area.