The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Sudanese Ministry of International Cooperation and Ministry of Youth and Sports have concluded an agreement on supporting Youth Volunteers programme in Darfur.
According to a joint statement by the UNDP and the Embassy of South Korea, the government of South Korea is contributing $2 million in support of UNDP youth empowerment activities in Darfur over the next two years (2018-2019). This will enable continuity and expansion of the Youth Volunteers Supporting Peace and Recovery project (YOVORED) across the five States in Darfur.
The project operates with a three-step approach; first, the project enhances the capacity of State actors to coordinate Youth activities through Youth Volunteers Coordination Units, Secondly, youth volunteers are recruited and trained in micro-enterprise development, conflict, environmental and natural resource management and other relevant competency areas. In the third step, the volunteers are deployed to live with their own communities for nine months as peace and development agents, sharing their skills and knowledge with community members, helping them start micro-businesses, initiate community projects and supporting peace processes. In the entire process, youth are being mentored to access employment in the formal and informal sectors.
YOVORED, now in its 4th Phase has been implemented in all the five Darfur states in collaboration with the Government of Sudan (through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Affairs), Peace Centers in Darfur, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
According to the joint statement, youths constitute about 62% of Darfur population and youth unemployment across the region is estimated to be ranging between 31 to 40%, much higher than the national average of 22%, quadruple of the Global average of 13.6%.
Since its inception in 2012, the project has trained and deployed 379 youth volunteers (41% female) who have supported the empowerment of 33,848 vulnerable community members (49% female) by improving their knowledge and skills through training in business and environmental management as well as providing small grants for the establishment of small businesses for livelihood recovery. By February 2018, about 377 microenterprises will have been established and expanded in an environmentally sustainable way through the small grant challenge. In Phase IV, the project aims to train and deploy a cohort of 200 additional youth volunteers and to support 10,000 community members in 50 communities in the five Darfur states.
UNDP and The Republic of Korea have been longstanding partners across the world and will continue working in close collaboration towards accelerating the peace and development in Darfur and Sudan as a whole.