The People's Projects - Quick Impact Projects to Protect Civilians and Building Durable Peace in South Sudan
Peace building is long and arduous work, and, for local communities that aren’t privy to behind-the-scenes negotiating, progress is often difficult to quantify. To boost community trust and support for the peace process, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, led by the Relief, Reintegration and Protection Section, initiates Quick Impact Projects each year to assist communities in concrete ways. Since its establishment in 2011, the mission has completed more than 138 such projects for a cost of about $7.5 million. Generally consisting of infrastructure development or equipment provision, Quick Impact Projects are selected and implemented in cooperation with residents, local government officials, and civil society organizations. Most cost $50,000 or less and are finished in about six months. In addition to strengthening relationships with communities, these projects advance key tenets of the mission’s mandate, namely to: •Protect civilians •Build durable peace •Enable displaced people to return home safely to live in dignity As part of a wider strategy to protect civilians and strengthen mechanisms to settle conflicts peacefully, for example, the mission has used Quick Impact Projects to build rule of law infrastructure, such as police posts and courts. To protect women vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence, UNMISS drilled boreholes to shorten the often-dangerous walk to fetch water and built safe houses to provide sanctuary in times of crisis. To build peace and enable displaced people to return to their homes, it invested in projects that strengthen social cohesion, such as community resource centres, schools, and health care facilities.
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