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The Sudan Community Development Fund: Bringing essential services to two million people in neglected and post-conflict areas

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The Sudan Community Development Fund: Bringing essential services to two million people in neglected and post-conflict areas

The Sudan Community Development Fund
Bringing essential services to two million people in neglected and post-conflict areas


Community Development Fund (CDF)-supported education, health, water and solar energy facilities have improved access to essential services for two million people in rural Sudan. Bringing basic services back to war-affected and neglected areas has contributed to stability and peace-building in the country. Also, the project’s decentralized, participatory approach has empowered communities and local governments to set development priorities and make decisions on resources.


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.


Before CDF the school consisted of only two classrooms and a teachers’ office. After completion of the second grade, children were required to walk relatively long distances (5-9 kilometers) to reach other schools located in five nearby villages and this was a security concern for their parents, especially for young girls. It is worth mentioning that distance is the primary reason for poor school attendance and high drop-out rates in rural Sudan. I myself as a visually impaired person suffered from commuting to another village for teaching, now the new school is just two minutes away walking from my house, my three kids are also enrolled in this school. After CDF intervention, the two classrooms and the teachers’ office were rehabilitated. Most importantly, CDF built six additional classrooms and three teachers’ offices. This intervention contributed to the sustainability of the education in the area and reduced the drop-out rate. The enrollment rate has increased from 95 to 414 and the school has now 13 teachers compared to the three previous ones! 

—Mohamed Abdallah, a 42-year-old visually impaired school teacher at Alhila Aljadida Primary School, Alhila Aljadida Village, Khashm Elgirba Locality, Kassala State

The worries and sufferings of the people of this village are now over with the provision of water in our village. We are becoming happier and healthier. We were using water from contaminated sources and we were being affected by many diseases. It is enough for me that I don’t have to walk for long distance to fetch water anymore! 

—Amina Salih, a 17-year-old female
Haladait village, Telkok locality, Kassala State

Bank Contribution

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.

For more information, please visit the Projects website.

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