Revision of the 2005 United Nations and Partners: Work Plan for the Sudan

29 June 2005

The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) on 9 January 2005 was a major turning point in the country's history. There is an unprecedented opportunity to realise the aspirations of millions of Sudanese for peace, security, and development, and to build on the CPA to resolve other conflicts in the Sudan. The remainder of 2005 will be critical. The main challenges are constituting a new Government of National Unity (GNU) and the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), and implementing important elements of the CPA that will yield direct "peace dividends" for the people of Sudan. After decades of war and under-development, the peace is fragile. Success will not come easily, or cheaply.

In November 2004, The United Nations and its partners launched an ambitious Work Plan for the Sudan to provide humanitarian assistance and protection and support the implementation of the CPA through targeted recovery and development programmes. The Work Plan's original requirements were US$ 1.48 billion. In the first months of 2005, that amount was revised to US$ 1.56 billion, mainly to meet increased food requirements in the Darfur region. In May 2005, the United Nations and partners conducted the first of two scheduled reviews of the Work Plan and revised it based on new assessment information and implementation experience. The total requirements for the Work Plan now stand at US$ 1.96 billion, of which the United Nations and partners still require US$ 1.32 billion, given that some US$ 643 million has already been pledged or distributed.

One of the reasons for the increase in the amount of money needed is that more food is required than originally envisaged. This is because of new displacement in conflict areas and worse than expected crop failure. Of the total amount required in 2005, nearly US$ 912 million is for food aid, an increase of nearly US$ 200 million from the original Work Plan. The costs of transporting food assistance in Sudan remain substantial given the poor quality of the road, river and rail transport network.

NEW in the Revised 2005 Work Plan

- 3.25 million people affected by conflict and crop failure needs food aid in Darfur (up from 2.5 million people).

- Increased support to livelihoods throughout the country to mitigate worse than expected crop failure.

- More proactive policy to support spontaneous Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugee return and reintegration, which includes:

  • increased assistance and protection programming in Khartoum camps and other places of displacement; way stations and emergency transport along routes of return;
  • dispersal packages and enhanced support to communities in places of arrival;
  • procurement upfront to ensure preparedness for expected peak returns period (November 05 - March 06).
- Increased peace implementation activities, such as rule of law and governance, mine action and repairing transport infrastructure.

- 20 new Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Work Plan; NGO requirements increased by US$ 47 million and now total some US$105 million.

- Links between the Work Plan and the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) clarified.

The Work Plan established a rigorous system for monitoring and accountability of United Nations and partner programmes, setting clearly defined year-end sectoral objectives, to be measured every 120 days against specific targets. This document is a consolidated review of the first 120 days of Work Plan implementation (January-April 2005)(1). The review revealed positive results in some areas, and less progress than expected in others.

On the one hand, a robust humanitarian response in Darfur means that fewer people are dying of disease and hunger than was the case one year ago. On the other hand, continued violence against civilians in Darfur and elsewhere; and violations against IDPs in camps around Khartoum and along routes of return has highlighted the need for an even more coordinated and integrated approach to protection, as well as concerted advocacy to the Government of Sudan (GoS) and other parties to fulfill their obligations under existing ceasefire agreements and international law. Given the protection concerns related to IDP and refugee return, the United Nations has significantly augmented protection and assistance programming in places of displacement, on routes of return and in areas of return, in line with an existing agreement by the GoS (Humanitarian Affairs Commission) and the SPLM/A (Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission).

Localised conflict within Southern Sudan remains a concern. Competition for resources, sometimes violent, has been exacerbated by local political opportunism and the absence of a common enemy. Significant security threats remain and violence against civilians continues too frequently with impunity. Efforts to promote South-South dialogue have begun with the aim of offering wider participation in developing governance structures in Southern Sudan.

The United Nations Management Team for the south is now operating out of Rumbek, and construction of office and residential accommodation is underway to cope with the steady build up of staff in Southern Sudan. This process is expected to be complete by the summer. In addition to donated funds, the United Nations has collectively borrowed approximately US$ 70 million to jump start activities across all sectors. While progress has been made in many sectors, operations in the south have been hampered by insufficient and late funding. Returns to the south are expected to accelerate after the rainy season, and increase needs further.

The pace of recovery and development programmes in the Work Plan are linked to implementation of the CPA. With the JAM completed, the United Nations and partners have developed further plans to support the parties in the areas of rule of law and governance as they make the transformation to new structures. Across the sectors, the UN and partner NGOs will continue to move beyond life-saving assistance, and be more ambitious in building capacity for the delivery of services by national entities, including civil society.

International donors have responded relatively generously to the Work Plan in dollar terms, particularly for humanitarian aid. However, given the scale of needs in Sudan, and the high expectations following the signing of the CPA and the Oslo pledging conference in April, they did not-on the whole-provide enough funding in a timely manner. There is a risk that a great opportunity in Sudan will be missed.

There is much to be done in Sudan to build on the hope that came from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The Work Plan identifies priority areas where the United Nations and its partners can add value in addressing both humanitarian and protection needs as well as needs for improved basic services, the rule of law, and improved governance. Concerted support by the international donor community is needed now to enable the United Nations and its 55 NGO partners to implement this vital Work Plan.


(1) For detailed progress reports on the first 120 days of implementation (January-April 2005), by region and by sector, and for the agreed targets for the next 120-day period (May-August 2005), please contact,

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29 June 2005

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