Home | News    Wednesday 6 April 2005

UN agency gears up for Sudan’s first census in decades

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NAIROBI, Apr 4, 2005 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has started planning for a comprehensive population census in Sudan, the country’s first in more than 20 years, according to a UNFPA statement available here Monday.

The census, which will contribute to the country’s development planning after the civil war, will cost around 60 million US dollars, the United Nations Joint Assessment Mission for Sudan was quoted as saying in the statement.

The UNFPA will highlight the strategic importance of and challenges facing Sudan’s first census in decades at the Donor Conference for Sudan, which will be held from April 11 to 12 in Oslo, Norway, said Nimal Hettiaratchy, the UNFPA representative in Sudan.

The UNFPA will stress to donors that their support is essential to the success of Sudan’s census, one of the crucial building blocks of the peace agreement, Hettiaratchy added.

The population census is one of the provisions of the comprehensive peace agreement signed last January by the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and is meant to be completed within the first two years of the post- conflict interim period, according to the UNFPA statement.

The Sudanese government and southern rebels sign the final comprehensive peace accord in Kenyan capital Nairobi on January 9, marking the culmination of two years of peace process to end the 21-year-old civil war in southern Sudan, the longest-running in Africa.

The UNFPA is the world’s largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs. It was established in 1969 as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. In 1987, the United Nations Economic and Social Council decided to rename it the United Nations Population Fund, but to retain the original acronym.

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