The historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in 2005 ended the longest-running civil war in Africa and marked a turning point after decades of conflict. Among the underlying causes of conflict recognized by the Agreement were the wide regional disparities in development, access to services, and opportunities. To overcome some of these challenges and to make broad progress on the Millennium Development Goals,it has been essential to expand access to health, education and water in the most neglected and disadvantaged parts of Sudan. The Sudan CDF, which supports these objectives, is financed by the National Sudan Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) and the Government of Sudan to channel funds to local communities and address urgent community-driven recovery and development needs, including in the Three Areas (Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Abyei).
The Sudan Community Development Fund aims to increase access to priority social services and infrastructure in war-affected and underdeveloped areas of Sudan by building schools and health facilities, and bringing solar energy and water supply to some of the most remote and neglected post-conflict and conflict-affected areas in the country. The project is characterized by its decentralized and participatory approach. This approach has empowered hundreds of villages, communities, and local government units to set their own development priorities and make decisions on resources to implement them. Capacity building and training of local leaders has also made a great difference, particularly given the post-conflict context in Sudan.
The CDF funds community development priorities that improve access to basic education, primary health,and water supply and sanitation services.
Since 2006, the project has brought essential services to over two million people by financing over 1,000 community subprojects in education, health, water supply and village photovoltaic solar systems to power basic community infrastructure.
From 2006 to end of 2011, 803 of the subprojects have been completed. These subprojects include: (a) 451 primary schools,which have improved access to education for 139,100 students (83,746 males; 55,354 females); (b) construction and equipping of 91 health facilities and training of 235 village midwives,which are currently providing primary health care services to 739,781 people (341,615 males; 398,166 females); (c) 134 water supply subprojects,which are providing clean water sources to 525,810 people (261,190 males; 264,620 females) and their animals; (d) 97 communities benefited from installation of solar energy, which has contributed to the improvement of quality of services provided by 81 schools, 40 health facilities, 17 community centers, 13 teachers’ residences, and 30 mosques; and (e) over 620 community-based organizations have benefited from the capacity building activities of the CDF.
The World Bank is the administrator of the National Sudan Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). Donors contributing to the National MDTF include the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Iceland, Greece and the World Bank. The World Bank contributed US$5 million to the MDTF. The CDF Project is one of the projects financed by the National Sudan Multi-Donor Trust Fund with the aim of reconstruction and development of conflict-affected areas of the North Sudan.
The Community Development Fund Project is financed by the National Sudan MDTF and the Government of Sudan. The total cost of the project is US$95 million, of which US$52.8 million is contributed by the National Sudan MDTF and the remaining US$42.2 is contributed by the Government of Sudan.The World Bank is the administrator of the MDTF and hence the CDF Project.
Toward the Future
Funding under the CDF includes government counterpart funding of about 45 percent of project costs, a sizeable contribution by any standard. The government would like to scale up and replicate the CDF model in other states after the project closes in June 2012. The government has been calling for the engagement of donors to pursue this operation and has expressed readiness to continue providing counterpart funds.