Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) yesterday held a ceremony to announce the signing of a number of Qatari development projects in Sudan. 
The projects aim to continue the efforts of Qatar in pushing forward the development process in Sudan, through backing joint projects that reflect the strong ties between both countries. 
The ceremony was attended by Director-General of QFFD Khalifa bin Jassim al-Kuwari, Qatar’s ambassador to Sudan Abdulrahman al-Nuaimi, a number of Qatari officials and representatives of various charity and development institutions, in addition to Carter Centre’s Steven Blount. 
In his speech, al-Kuwari said that the new joint projects are the second phase of establishing developmental programmes in Darfur states that encourages the return of citizens to their homelands. 
Projects in social housing and economic empowerment will benefit a total of 150,000  people. He added that Qatar Fund for Development, in co-operation with Qatari charitable organisations, has pledged to complete phase two of Darfur’s reconstruction programme. 
Al-Kuwari added that the projects are part of Qatar’s initiative for the development of Darfur and are worth $70mn. The projects are being implemented in villages in five Darfur states, two projects in each state. They include programmes to help those returning home earn a living and become economically empowered. The projects will also help establish peace and social cohesion. They will provide suitable aid to those returning as well. 
The projects will take five years to implement and will benefit 300,000 people according to the director-general of QFFD. The service centre established will include two primary schools for boys and for girls. It will also include two secondary schools. In addition to educational facilities, there will be a health centre, a police station, a mosque, and 15 houses for the employees. It will also have a water station, green areas, as well as a solar energy plant. The fund will manage the centre for three years before transferring the responsibility to local committees after they are trained in co-operation with official authorities. 
One of the agreements signed during the ceremony was one to develop the capabilities of the public health sector in Sudan, in co-operation with Carter Centre. The agreement aims to promote peace and health. It will focus on developing health programmes for women and children by supporting the educational part of the health sector. It will also look to develop the skills of nurses and other workers in the field. The agreement also involves establishing training material and placing regulatory systems for the sector. The first stage of this support will be worth $2mn. 
The ceremony also gave a presentation about a project for transferring electricity in the River Nile state. Qatar Fund for Development is financing the project with more than $218mn to provide electricity to the Abo Ahmed area. 
QFFD will co-operate with Hassad company, Kahramaa, Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity, Setco Sudan, China’s HEI, and a German consultancy. The project involves establishing an electricity transmission line that is 387km long, as well as five transmission stations. 
The project is considered one of Qatar fund’s biggest investment projects in the region. It covers large agricultural spaces suitable for producing grains, animal feed, and livestock among other products. These areas will help secure important food needs such as oils, corn, and animal feed. 
QFFD also provided a presentation on its co-operation with UN organisations, such as the United Nations Development Programme to develop 12 projects worth $88.5mn. Work on those projects began in February and is scheduled to conclude by the end of the year.
A total of 8.7mn people in 47 local villages could benefit from these projects. Some of the projects undertaken are road infrastructure, construction, sustainable water use, educational and health programmes, SMEs, and agricultural schemes.

QRCS, QFFD sign pact to implement 
multi-sectoral programme in Darfur

Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS) and Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch a multi-sectoral development programme in Sudan.
The agreement, signed by QFFD general manager Khalifa Jassim al-Kuwari and QRCS secretary general Ali Hassan al-Hammadi, involves the construction of two full-service complexes in three towns of East and West Darfur at a total cost of nearly $13mn (QR47.3mn).
“This grant from QFFD will help develop the areas affected by armed conflict in Darfur, encouraging the displaced people to return to their home and allowing an opportunity for them to settle and initiate income-generating business enterprises that ensure them a dignified life,” al-Kuwari said.
“It is part of the State of Qatar’s humanitarian strategy to mitigate the suffering of humanity and falls under the humanitarian response plan adopted by QFFD for 2016. To that effect, several agreements were signed over the year, including relief interventions for Fallujah, Syria and Aleppo,” he noted.
Al-Kuwari added that QFFD appreciates the strong relations with QRCS and bilateral co-operation for the relief of the Sudanese people.
Meanwhile, al-Hammadi thanked QFFD for what he described as a “fruitful co-operation” to preserve the security and dignity of the people of Darfur, who had to flee their homes, shops and schools.  
“As peace was regained in the territory, it is important to help those returnees to restore their normal lives, secure their basic needs, improve their living standards, establish solidarity and harmony, and eradicate the very roots of conflict and violence,” he stressed.  
Under the five-year MoU, each complex will comprise two elementary schools, two secondary schools, health centre, police station, mosque, 15 houses for complex staff, water plant, streets, and green areas. All complex facilities will be provided with solar power.
QRCS will manage the projects for three years before handing it over to the local community and public authorities such as the ministries of health, education, water, and environment.

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