West Darfur, Sudan, 29 September 2022-- UN-Habitat together with its partners UNHCR and Peace building fund secretariate (PBF) recently launched the project  “Peacebuilding and Human Rights in Support of Durable Solutions for IDPs and Affected Communities: The Right to Adequate Housing in West Darfur”.

The launching workshop was attended by 58 participants, representing the State Ministry of Infrastructure and Urban Development, Nomads Commission, Voluntary Return reintegration Commission, native administration, Land Registration authorities, local authorities, and local community representatives including internally displaced persons.

 The Right to Adequate Housing project will make direct contribution to peacebuilding efforts through addressing key issues impeding the realisation of human rights in West Darfur, which in turn contribute to the perpetuation of intercommunal violence and further inhibit the achievement of durable solutions.

The project will support the peaceful returns and resettlements of  IDPs in three key localities through the provision of resettlement spatial plans, creation of viable options and guiding principles for the voluntary and sustainable return, local integration, and/or relocation of IDPs.

The project will enhance of access to effective mechanisms that clarify housing, land and property (HLP) rights in compliance with relevant international human rights standards, as well as support access to civil documentation. It will also contribute to self-reliance of IDPs, returnees, nomads, and non-displaced communities, particularly male and female youth, through capacity development on self-help reconstruction using an environmentally sensitive and affordable building materials (Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks: ISSB), which will inform the national and state housing policy framework. The project will also work to enhance the social cohesion among different communities in support of durable solutions.

 Ulan Shabynov Head of PBF Secretariate, and  Freya Byfield, Communications and Outreach Specialist PBF, opened the workshop, highlighting PBF focus areas since 2019 to enduring peace in Sudan with emphasis on Darfur, and the importance of the project to promote durable solutions and coexistence for IDPs and affected communities.

The right to adequate housing in West Darfur

Abdulrahman Mustafa, a representative from UN-Habitat in his opening remarks outlined UN-Habitat’s work in addressing the issue of conflict-induced recurrent displacement in Darfur, security of tenure, access to effective mechanisms that clarify HLP rights in compliance to the international human rights standard, and capacity development on self-help reconstruction using ISSB.

Jacqueline Parlevliet, Representative of UNHCR mentioned their roles and deep concerns of providing returnees protection and supporting access to obtaining proper civil documentation, Moreover Mr. Mohamed Habib, provided an overview of the intended activities.

 Younis Ishag Directorate General, Ministry of Infrastructure and Urban Development appreciated the long partnership between the Ministry and UN-Habitat in terms of capacity building of technical staff at state and locality level, and provision of survey equipment’s during the last years, he said “Those capacity development packages enhanced the performance of the institution to achieve tasks beyond expectations”.

Alawia Mukhtar, Women Representative, mentioned “the condition of gathering sites is tragic, we are asking the international community for rapid response to IDPs basic needs in 94 gathering locations, addressing issues of transitional justice and protection of civilians in West Darfur State.

With the duration of three years, the project is intended to serve as a pilot to demonstrate an alternative way of addressing HLP rights in support of voluntary and sustainable return, local integration, and/or relocation of IDPs.