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April 15-17, 2024 (JUBA, South Sudan): The Government of South Sudan with Support from the Intergovernmental Authority of Development (IGAD) concluded a 3-day national consultative workshop on launching the national durable solutions strategy and discussions on the governance architecture of durable solutions.

The workshop which ran from 15th to 17th April in Juba was attended by members of the Inter-Ministerial National Technical Committee (NTC) that coordinates the Durable Solutions initiatives in South Sudan made up of 15 Ministries and Commissions and is co-chaired by Commission for Refugee Affairs, in charge of Refugees and the Relief & Rehabilitation Commission, in charge of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Participants discussed the institutional framework for implementing durable solutions in South Sudan and mapped out institutions relevant to durable solutions at the national and local level. Participants also discussed the institutional capacity, resources and support needed for the Durable Solution Platform. A draft plan of activities, timelines and partners to the Durable Solution Platform were determined.

Dr. Victoria Anib, the Head of Social Development at the IGAD Secretariat while officiating the workshop said that the consultations were designed to initiate discussions regarding the operationalization of the National Durable Solutions Strategy in South Sudan and were a sign of significant strides of IGAD’s collective endeavours to tackle the challenges encountered by forcibly displaced populations in the region.

“By convening this gathering, we aim to promote synergy and collaboration among stakeholders, ensuring a collective understanding and commitment to implementing the National Durable Solutions Strategy,” said Dr. Anib.

On his part, the deputy director, Commission of Refugee Affairs (CRA), Hon. John Dabi, established that the Durable Solutions Strategy for South Sudan which was endorsed by Cabinet in 2023 guides government and stakeholders on how to tackle the challenges confronting displaced persons. He emphasised that the implementation of the strategy would be carried out by different Ministries, Departments and Agencies across the Government of South Sudan with roles extending to implementing partners including the civil society and international partners.

He said that the steering committee for the development of the durable solutions strategy had prioritised key actions including, sustainable security and safety, access to basic services such as food, water and shelter, promoting peace building, reconciliation and healing among the communities, and creating livelihood opportunities for the displaced population, especially returnees and IDPs.

The Durable Solutions Strategy for South Sudan was developed following the launch of IGAD’s regional Solutions Initiative for the Displacement Situation Sudan and South Sudan in October 2020, under the IGAD Support Platform on Forced Displacement.

Commenting on the strategy, Ms. Basmat Osman, a refugee from the Blue Nile region of Sudan, said she had high hopes in the durable solutions strategy changing the wellbeing of refugees and other displaced persons in South Sudan.

“We want the strategy to be translated to implementable solutions to ease the pressure on displaced communities and this way, we will have the opportunity to access basic and tertiary education and realize our potential.”

South Sudan is currently facing one of Africa’s protracted refugee situations with over 2.3 million internally displaced persons due to civil conflicts. More than 500,000 people have now fled from the war in Sudan to South Sudan while the country has received over 700,000 refugee returnees since 2017, following the signing of the revitalised peace agreement.

The workshop was attended by other partners including Country Office representatives from the UNHCR, World Food Programme, UNDP, UN Women, South Sudan Redcross among others. The consultations were supported by the European Trust Fund support to the IGAD Support Platform.

IGAD press end

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