Crossing the Bridge of Peace: Victim Assistance and Mine Risk Education for Human Security in Sudan
March 23, 2007
Brief progress Report and Activity plan
1. General Information about the project
The Project aims to maximize the impact of the resources from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) by pursuing the following four objectives:
- to support mine/ERW victims while promoting sustainable reconciliation and building of peace
- to conduct a needs assessment and provide technical support for victims' socio-economic reintegration
- to raise awareness of communities and returnees, especially children and young adults, about the threats of mine/ERW and to promote behaviors that will keep them out of harm's way
- to enhance understanding of the links between victim assistance, mine risk education and human security
Table 1: project information at a glance
Republic of the Sudan
Title of the Project
"Crossing the Bridge of Peace:" Victim Assistance and Mine Risk Education for Human Security in Sudan
Kordofan, Bahr Al Ghazal, Bahr Al Jabal, Upper Nile, Central and Southern Sudan
Duration of the Project
The Project will be jointly executed by UNMAS/UNOPS, UNICEF and UNDP.
National/local authorities, NGOs, Community organizations, and UN agencies (OCHA, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, IOM)
Total for 18 months: US$ 1,698,341
The involvement by the most vulnerable populations, the enhancement of a community based and gender balance approaches, together with the advocacy for the rights of mine/ERW victims and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are crucial aspects of the project. In addition, the program supports the development of a National Strategic Framework and Work Plan. The documents will guide the design, implementation and monitoring of activities aimed at improving services for mine/ERW victims in Sudan.
The project, first of its kind in Sudan, is also contributing at a wider level considering that in 2007 Sudan, together with the Austrian Government, is co-chairing the "Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration". The mandate of the Committee is to identify practical means to assist States in meeting their obligations under Article 6.3 of the Ottawa Convention. Activities and inputs form the implementation of the project will be very beneficial to the VA committee considering the development of the national strategic framework and work plan, the support of pilot project sin the northern and southern areas of the country, and the promotion of the direct involvement of mine/ERW victims in the process.
2. Brief Activity Report (Jan - March 2007)
- Strategic Framework on Victim Assistance (UNMAS/UNOPS)
UNMAS/UNOPS together with the National Mine Action Centre & South Sudan De-Mining Commission have developed the National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework. The final draft of the Strategic Framework will be officially presented and discussed during a National Workshop on Victim Assistance which will be held in Juba on the 13th and 14th March 2007.
The workshop will be attended by representatives from the government (Juba and Khartoum), representatives from various embassies, UN agencies, national and international NGOs, ICRC, and CBOs involved in VA related activities and others. The National VA Workshop will also be an important forum to share experiences, activity reports and plans.
- Needs assessment of mine/ERW victims in South Sudan (UNMAS/UNOPS)
The UNMAS VA team carried out a rapid field assessment in the most mine-affected areas in South Sudan and in particular in Juba and Wau. The field visits were also aimed at identifying the areas to be covered by the needs assessment. An NGO among the ones working in the sector of VA/Mine Action in Southern Sudan will be selected to carry out the exercise.
Out of 6 project proposals submitted, 2 have been selected. However, further discussions and clarifications are required. The needs assessment will start by the end of March - early April 2007.
The selection of the data collectors will take into consideration several crucial aspects, including gender and the inclusion of mine/ERW victims. UNMAS/UNOPS will provide technical support during the training of the data collectors and during the monitoring of the needs assessment (verification of the data collected, etc.). Additionally, each data collector will be given a note book which contains data collection Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) formats, map of the areas and other useful documents to help and guide during the exercise.
- Provide emergency Mine Risk Education (UNICEF)
The HSTF project also includes Mine Risk Education activities. In the reported period, all HSTF funds have been committed to two main projects that cover the areas of Wau, Juba and Malakal. The projects are implemented by Mine Advisory Group (MAG) in the areas of Waw and Juba and by Handicap International (HI) in Malakal.
- Implement socio-economic, participatory and community-based projects for victims and other persons with disabilities (UNDP)
A total of 22 project proposals have been submitted by NGOs from the northern areas of Sudan (Khartoum, Kassala, South Kordofan). The activities included in the proposals embrace a number of VA sectors of intervention such as social reintegration, medical and psychological rehabilitation, capacity building, etc. The HFTS team has begun the selection process and out of the 22 proposals 10 have been shortlist. The final selection will be completed by the end of March. Some proposals have not been considered due to technical reasons and due to the fact that the gender issue was not taken into consideration.
Below is a table which summarizes the planned activities in the next months.
Table 2: summary of the planned HSTF main activities (months of March and April)
Main HSTF Activities
|Training of Data Collectors|
|Verification of the collected Data|
|Dissemination Final Report|
|Identification of new partners working in VA|
|VA Strategic Plan|
|Preparation of the Strategic Plan VA - Sudan|
|Organization of a First VA National Workshop|
|Dissemination of the final strategy to stakeholders|
|VA Work plan|
|Development of a country-wide work plan|
|Organization of a Second VA National Workshop|
|Dissemination of the final 5 years work plan to stakeholders|
|VA Activities in the northern Areas of Sudan|
|Selection of the NGOs - VA proposals|
|VA coordination group in Juba|
|VA coordination group in Khartoum|
4. Conclusion: need of continuous support
The most recent developments in the area of VA in Sudan are determined by the ongoing activities funded by the Human Security Trust Fund project. However it is important to mention that most of the activities and plans designed and included in the project, are based on the experience matured in the past years. The VA - UNMAS department in Sudan was in fact established in 2003.
One of the findings in the past months is that the need of VA interventions in mine/ERW affected areas is greater than expected. Field visits, meeting with CBOs and local organization and key members of the community revealed an alarming scenario. Persons with disability in general and mine/ERW victims particularly are easily forgotten and often segregated within the community.
Little awareness raising has been carried out and most of the victims are not aware of the available services or about their basic rights. Authorities are generally interested in supporting victims but they clearly need to coordinate and streamline the designing of the interventions together with other key actors.
An important note is that, after a number of technical discussions, ministries both in the north and South Sudan expressed interest to include VA (and mine/ERW victims) related activities in their yearly work and financial plans. This will be a crucial step for the inclusion of VA within the government structure and to enhance the sustainability of the program.
The UNMAS VA department intends to continue the strengthening of the mechanisms to assist and support mine/ERW victims. As already mentioned in the brief report, projects will be selected and supported for a period of 6 months. Out of the 22 proposals submitted, only 6 will be supported in the northern areas of Sudan and 6 in the south. Obviously these projects will not be able to cover the needs discovered on the ground.
The continuation of the support to mine/ERW victims is crucial. More resources are needed to respond to the various needs of mine/ERW victims and PWDs and to guarantee their social reintegration in the community.
Methodology: The programs will primarily target mine/ERW affected areas in North (includes East) and South Sudan and they will assist both mine/ERW victims and PWDs. All activities will be planned taking into consideration the strategic objectives indicated by the National Victim Assistance Strategic Framework and other internationally recognized policies, guidelines and standards (e.g.: "Gender Guidelines for Mine Action Programs", etc.). The VA Department of UNMAS in Sudan, together with other relevant UN agencies, and national and local authorities will be in charge of the management and monitoring of the activities.
Activities: Victim Assistance includes a number of areas of intervention, ranging from medical to social as shown by the table below which also includes an estimated allocation of resources for each of the main areas of intervention. Estimation of allocation and total budget requirement may change as results of needs assessment activities become available.
Table 3: VA main areas of intervention and activities.
Areas of intervention
Details (type of activities)
Estimated Budget USD
Emergency and continuous Medical Care
1) Training of heath and community workers on first aid;
2) Development of an emergency response system (including transport for rapid referrals, etc.).
3) Supply of consumables and equipment for emergency medical assistance
Physical Rehabilitation, Prostheses and Assistive Devices
1) Scaling up of the production of wheelchairs and tricycles
2) Support to CBR network for identification, basic treatment and referral of mine/ERW victims
3) Support to the production and distribution of prostheses (pre and post prosthetic care) orthotics.
1) Training on counseling
2) Development of a peer to peer support program
Employment and Economic Integration (including capacity building of local organizations or groups of PWDs - mine/ERW victims)
2) Support to individualized or small group micro-enterprise or micro-credit;
3) Training (groups, on-job training, B&A, vocational, etc.);
Advocacy, Legislation and Public Awareness
1) Dissemination of information (laws, policies, etc.) on mine/ERW victims and PWDs' rights.
2) Creation of awareness on disability related issues (including gender issues, etc.).
3) Support for the establishment of mine/ERW - PWDs associations
Data Collection, Surveys and Needs Assessment
1) Data collection in areas not yet covered.
Local partners: National Mine Action Office/Commission, institutions, international and national NGOs, CBOs, DPOs
Target areas: mine/ERW affected areas in North and South Sudan
Operational bases: UNMAS offices in Khartoum, Kadugli and Juba.
Period covered by the interventions: June 2007 - May 2008
Funding currently available: $490,000 (HSTF via UNDP)
N.B - An in-detailed description and breakdown of each of the target activities/budget can be developed by UNMAO - VA department in the coming weeks/months.