Sudan's "Peace Dividend" Launched

THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR A NEW ERA.
The new 6-year recovery and development plan for Sudan was today officially Launched by the national authorities, marking the end of a one-year preparation for the post-war era.

This milestone document - the 'Framework for Sustained Peace, Development and Poverty Eradication in Sudan' - is the outcome of the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) organized by the UN and World Bank. Teams led by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's

Liberation Movement (SPLM) together reached consensus over the major development challenges facing the country, and reflected the spirit of the historic peace agreement signed in January this year.

The 'Framework' will be presented by Sudan's newly-formed Joint National Transition Team (JNTT) at the first post-war international donors' pledging conference on 11-12 April in Oslo, Norway.

The strength of the document is that although priority needs and costs are distinguished for war-affected areas of North and South Sudan, it is nevertheless a jointly agreed programme for the whole country - a peace dividend crucial to the peace process as a whole.

The total assessed needs through 2007 are about $7.8 billion ($4.3 billion for the North and $3.5 billion for the South). The per capita expenditure in the South is considerably higher than that of the North. Of the total, only $2.66 billion is being requested from the international community.

Sudan itself will contribute considerably more than the international community towards the pro-poor recovery programme. Precise commitments in this respect are made through the budgets of the forthcoming National Government and Government of South Sudan.

Taj el Sir Mahjoub, the Government's JAM Team Leader explains: "This is not just a run-of-the-mill appeal document. It is a statement of intent and a political commitment on our part to be fully engaged in the reconstruction of our country. Yes, we need external assistance, but we will more than match that with our national resources."

The JAM is divided into two phases: the first, from July 2005 through the end of 2007, represents immediate and detailed needs, particularly for the expected massive return of displaced people from inside and outside the country; the second, from 2008 to mid-2011, is the period when many major infrastructural programmes will be undertaken, and when Sudan can hope to meet some of the development targets represented by the international Millennium Development Goals.

In this respect, Kosti Manibe, the SPLM's JAM Team Leader, is realistic: "South Sudan has no hard roads, only rudimentary health and education facilities, and we are starting from a very low point in terms of human capacity.

However, with technical assistance combined with new oil wealth, we expect to catch up rapidly. Our emphasis is on combating poverty and many years of exclusion. The next era will be one of hard work, but also a great deal of enthusiasm."

The JAM covers the recovery/development basic needs for Sudan. It does not include the substantial peacekeeping and demobilization costs. Nor does it include the massive humanitarian requirements for Sudan (notably Darfur) which are outlined under the UN Work Plan for 2005.

 

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