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USAID awards $31 mln infrastructure contract for South Sudan

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Sept. 29, 2006 (WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) a one-year, $31.85-million contract to improve infrastructure in Southern Sudan. The contract will support the building of roads, bridges, health facilities, and other vital structures to support economic growth and recovery in Southern Sudan.

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Rebecca Garang

The program represents a unique partnership for the Government of Southern Sudan, the U.S. Government, and UNOPS, which will work together with state ministries to identify and address critical structural needs in historically underserved or conflict-affected areas. Activities will focus on building primary health care centers, all-weather interstate gravel roads, bridges, major drainage structures, and other public works.

The program will also provide employment opportunities for displaced, returning, and other disadvantaged people and facilitate the return and reintegration of people affected by the country’s two-decade civil war, which ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005.

At a launch ceremony held earlier this month in Juba Minister of Transportation and Roads Rebecca Garang said she "applaud[ed] the program’s efforts to provide services and build capacity at the state level."

USAID/Sudan Deputy Mission Director Allan Reed emphasized the U.S. Government’s commitment to development in Southern Sudan, saying, "I want to underscore USAID’s support for building infrastructure and capacity that will consolidate peace and provide a safe and enabling environment for the citizens of Southern Sudan”

The Accelerated Infrastructure Program is the first phase of USAID’s broader, long-term effort to construct and rehabilitate infrastructure in Southern Sudan. By the end of this month, USAID expects to award another, larger-scale contract designed to support further expansion of transportation, social, and economic infrastructure in Southern Sudan.

USAID has already spent $84.2 million on improving Southern Sudan’s infrastructure since fiscal year 2004. Work has included building roads, clearing landmines, and planning, mapping, and electrifying towns. USAID also supported the establishment of the Southern Ministry of Transportation and Roads.

Sudan is USAID’s largest program in Sub-Saharan Africa, totaling $855 million in fiscal year 2005. The complex program provides extensive humanitarian and food aid to vulnerable people in Southern and Eastern Sudan and Darfur, as well as extensive reconstruction assistance in the south, Abyei, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan.

(USAID/ST)

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