Unity State to receive millions for priority projects

18 Jul 2013

Unity State to receive millions for priority projects

16 July 2013 – Unity State would receive millions of dollars in funding for priority needs that residents identified in their counties, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced today in Bentiu.

"Each state in South Sudan is entitled to get 17 million USD and they will decide by themselves what is needed most urgently," UNDP Senior Policy Advisor Adrian Garside said at a workshop to determine projects for funding in the southern part of the state.

The government-led programme is funded through the South Sudan Recovery Fund by the United Kingdom, Norway and Demark, Mr. Garside said.

Over the past two weeks, UNDP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and supported by UNMISS, has held community consultations in Leer, Koch, Panyijiar and Mayiendit counties to identify priority needs for funding.

At the Bentiu workshop, organized by UNDP and the state government, county representatives said that building roads to boost security between states was the most urgent need in their areas.

Mr. Garside observed that building roads could be problematic and other funding options should also be considered. "In the southern area, there is a lot of marshland. Maybe the river is a better method of moving across state borders and building trade."

But commissioners from the four counties agreed on the priority of secure roads, so that they could set up police posts and deploy officers with the necessary equipment.

John Chiek Bum, Deputy Director for Community Security and Small Arms Control at the Ministry of Interior, said all community priorities were important, including the roads project.

"I want the leaders of southern counties of Unity State and the leadership of Unity State to support this programme so that local people will benefit from it," the deputy director said.