Brussels, 8 April 2013
The EU pledges over €27 million to improve access to basic services for the people of Darfur
European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announced today €27.5 million to support people's access to basic services (such as education and health), as well as water management and agriculture in Darfur, a region in Western Sudan. The funding was announced by the European Union during the International Donors Conference for Darfur, which is being held in Doha (7 - 8 April).
The conference is part of the agenda of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), an agreement signed in July 2011 between the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) to promote the peace process in Darfur.
Commissioner Piebalgs said: "The EU is firmly committed to bringing durable peace to the people of Darfur. However, we remain deeply concerned about the slow implementation of the DDPD, rising insecurity in parts of Darfur and restrictions on access for aid. We hope that all parties to the conflict will take this opportunity to choose political dialogue over armed confrontation.
Commissioner Piebalgs added: “We call on the Sudanese government and all parties involved to sustain their efforts to improve the environment in which aid workers operate and fully implement the DDPD to enable a new momentum on development.”
The EU already supports peace and security in the region through the contributions made by EU Member States to the budget of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The EU is also a major donor of humanitarian assistance to Darfur and is eager to continue to assist the people of Darfur to recover from the conflict once the necessary access and political and security environment is in place.
The Pledging conference on Darfur is an important step to mobilise the international community around the reconstruction and peace in Darfur. The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) is open for signature of other Darfuri rebel movements, although so far no such movement has adhered to it.
In 2012, the EU commenced the implementation in Darfur of development projects worth nearly €5 million to improve the living conditions for rural/pastoralist groups and human rights, as well as humanitarian projects for over €45 million to provide life-saving assistance such as basic healthcare, clean water, sanitation and food assistance.
Since 2010, the EU has allocated €60 million from the European Development Fund to the people of Sudan to increase their access to basic services such as education and health and improve the livelihoods of the rural population, as well as €15 million with a special focus on food security. Out of this total allocation, the people of Darfur have benefited from €16 million.
The EU is a member of the International Follow-Up Committee, set up to assess the progress made so far in the provisions of the DDPD.
Some positive steps towards its commitments have been taken by the Government of Sudan, notably the establishment of the Darfur Regional Council. This body is in charge of examining laws and recommending legislative measures that could promote coordination and cooperation among the States of Darfur. The EU also welcomed the recent signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement.
However, there are still insufficient advancements in the peace process such as the financial commitments made by the Government of Sudan. The DDPD foresees the transfer to the Darfur regional Authority of EUR 1.5 billion over two years since the signature of the document in 2011: but so far only 10% of that amount has been transferred.
There is also a lack of progress in the implementation of the Justice and Reconciliation projects, aimed at strengthening institutions and improving governance at regional, state and local level. The Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programme have not advanced enough either.
For more information
Commissioner Piebalgs' website: