By Mary Poni
The Norwegian Embassy in South Sudan signed a contract of five million dollars with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Wau.
The Norwegian government has given IOM the responsibility of the durable solution project to find possible means to resettle the internally displaced people in Western Bahr-el-Ghazal, Wau as part of the roadmap implementation.
The Norwegian envoy to Juba, Ambassador Linken Nymann Berryman in her remarks during the signing of the memo said that the roadmap is an impressive document and it’s their hope that their support through IOM can help the government towards implementing it.
“Population movements are very controversial in South Sudan; it is important for us that IDPs will be provided support to make informed decisions on the durable solution pursued,” said Amb. Nymann Berryman.
Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission, country representative to South Sudan Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert applauded the Norwegian ambassador Linken Nymann Berryman for their remarkable decision to support the implementation of the roadmap to end the displaced areas in Wau.
“If we look at the last few years in the country, we have actually seen more camps being created and we have now some few camps in Bentiu because of the floods, and also in Kudok due to the situation in Upper Nile,” said Van der.
“Before we haven’t found a solution for those people so that the camps can be closed and moved in to various areas where there is peace and stability and I think making this project a success is so exiting that it is of its first kind,” he noted.
According to Peter, the project is the first document made by the state governor of Western Bahr-el-Ghazal.
He said the project provides a roadmap to find solutions to the people that are in the due remaining IDPs camps in Wau to be closed.
The implementation of the project is the first project for South Sudanese especially people living in the camps to benefit from because it is the most important part for the IPDs to start building up a normal life by moving out from the camp sites to make their livelihoods and building their permanent homes instated of relying on humanitarian assistance.
The IOM boss said as soon as they finish the roadmap in two to three years’ time, there would be no more displacement.
“It is also important for the country because if we managed to do this project in the mentioned state and see as a model, we would hopefully find solution for people who are currently in camps in other states.”
He said the project will kick off before the end of the year 2022 because it is a long and broader project.
“And due to many different components like the land issues that needs to be addressed, housing, services and infrastructures, it has become an integrated project,” he underscored.
“If you look at the number of displaced people that we would be targeting, it’s around 10,000 beneficiaries but when we look at the broader, not only 10,000 people would be benefiting but also the communities in the targeted states around the camp areas,” he noted.
IOM is looking at the whole population of Wau and the areas affected to benefit from the project. If implemented this project is expected to create a better life for the people living around those camps with the interest of decreasing the level of poverty.
The project is targeting ten thousand beneficiaries but the community at large will indirectly benefit.