Japan provides DDR programme in Sudan with $17 million

January 8, 2009 (UNDP)

The Government of Japan signed an agreement today with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide 1.575 billion yen (about $17 million) in grant assistance to the Disarmament and Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme in Sudan.

The grant was signed in Khartoum by Mr. Yuichi Ishii, Japanese Ambassador to Sudan, and Ameerah Haq, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator, and UNDP Resident Representative.

"The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programme will ensure the fundamentals of peace and stability in Sudan, and pave the way to sustainable development across the country,” said Ambassador Ishii. “With this contribution from the people of Japan, we strongly hope that all parties will make further efforts to overcome challenges and implement the programme in a timely and smooth manner."

Japan’s grant marks a major contribution to the $385 million in funding needed to ensure the reintegration of some 180,000 ex-combatants into civilian life. Showing commitment to Sudan's DDR programme, the Government of Italy has also contributed €3 million (about $4.1 million) in October 2008.

“I call on the donor community to follow the example set by Japan and Italy to make the necessary resources available to implement DDR,” Ms. Haq said. “I also urge our partners from the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan, as the leaders and owners of the DDR process, to ensure that state offices are staffed and operational as soon as possible so that the DDR programme becomes effectively nationally-owned and led.”

Through Japan's contribution, UNDP will support the North Sudan DDR Commission and Southern Sudan DDR Commission to set up state offices, equip and train staff at the state level and develop management information systems and monitor as well as evaluation frameworks. The funds will also be used to provide economic reintegration opportunities for ex-combatants, including a significant number of women associated with armed forces and groups as well as disabled ex-combatants.

Addressing the ceremony, North Sudan DDR Commissioner Dr. Sulafeldeen Salih said: "I would like to thank Japan for leading the donor community with this contribution. We, the Sudanese, reiterate our commitment to implement a DDR programme that would allow us not only to collect weapons but to help fighters turn themselves into civilians."

Acknowledging Japan's grant, Southern Sudan DDR Commissioner William Deng Deng said, "DDR is a bridge to peace and development. Japan's contribution is a boost to this process and will also support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)."

With support from the international community, a total of 180,000 participants from North and Southern Sudan stand to benefit from DDR by leaving military life and reintegrating into society. The DDR programme will be operationally managed by the North Sudan and Southern Sudan DDR Commissions with technical and logistical support from UNDP under the overall coordination and oversight of UNMIS.

Signed on 9 January 2005, the CPA ended the longest civil war in Africa. The DDR programme formed a key part of this agreement.


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