2005 United Nations and Partners: Work Plan for the Sudan
Sudan stands poised between peace and conflict in 2005, with the future depending on the commitment of its leaders to peace; whether this be that of the Government of Sudan (GoS), the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) or the militias and armed groups active in various parts of the country.
The response of the United Nations and its partners in 2005 will reflect this reality. The 2005 Work Plan for Sudan is a transitional plan focused on reinforcing progress towards peace, supporting the peace agreement once it has been signed, and responding to the needs of some four million people. This, by necessity, requires a complex and flexible programme providing humanitarian, protection, recovery and development activities. By elaborating this Work Plan, and ensuring that the different components support each other, the United Nations and its partners are committing their resources and skills to play a critical supportive role to the peace process, and provide life saving support to those who need it. The Work Plan will fully complement the work of the UN mission in Sudan (UNAMIS), and fall under the overall responsibility of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
The 2005 Work Plan outlines the strategic and operational plan of the United Nations and its partners, and presents 304 projects to be implemented by 49 agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Programmes and projects focus on southern Sudan, Transitional Areas (Abyei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains), Darfur, and eastern Sudan. There are also a number of national programmes in direct support of the peace process. 145 projects are classified as 'humanitarian', and 159 as recovery or development. To implement these projects in 2005, the United Nations and its partners require a total of US$ 1.48 billion. Of this amount, nearly US$ 720 million is required to provide and distribute food aid. While the need for food assistance is high, particularly in conflict and drought affected areas, the costs of transporting food assistance in Sudan are also substantial given the poor quality of the road, rail and river transport network.
Highlights of the 2005 Work Plan
Recovery and Development Activities
The 2005 Work Plan represents urgently required activities that the United Nations and its partners intend to implement from 1 January 2005, for a period of one year only, and has been developed in consultation with sectoral ministries/departments and the GoS and SPLM/A leadership and draws on the priorities reflected in the GoS/SPLM/A document, Urgent Needs in Sudan: October 2004-June 2005. The Work Plan has also been developed alongside the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM), which outlines strategic priorities and activities for the six year 'interim period'. The Work Plan, in this respect, focuses on projects that must be implemented immediately, and is complementary to projects that will be developed later in the year under the JAM.
A tremendous opportunity exists in 2005 to bring a long-running conflict to an end. The devastation caused by the war and the expectations of the Sudanese people mean that peace can only work with the immediate support of the international community. This support must come now, and it must be beyond the scope of the large amount of humanitarian aid that is still required in 2005. Donors must move quickly towards recovery funding, so as to give the peace process the greatest possible chance of succeeding.
Alongside this opportunity lies great responsibility, for all the parties of the various conflicts in Sudan, and the donors. Millions of people are at great risk, and will require an increasing amount of humanitarian assistance in the medium-term. The GoS and the various militia and armed groups must take active responsibility for ending conflict, and for protecting the rights of civilians. The GoS and donors must take active responsibility for providing humanitarian aid to the people affected by conflict, even as they turn their attention towards support for the Naivasha peace process. These are not opposing aims: rather, support for both humanitarian and recovery / development / peace support operations is the only credible course of action in Sudan.