IOM and EU collaborate on community transition and development work in Pibor, South Sudan
IOM was pleased to host the European Union (EU) Ambassador to South Sudan, His Excellency Stefano Deleo, Her Excellency Molly Catherine Phee, US Ambassador and Ministers from the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) Ministry of Education during a trip to Pibor to participate in the official opening of six new classrooms at the main Primary School compound.
The Peace and Stability Quick Impact Fund (PSQIF) began activities in Jonglei State in January 2013, and has been instrumental in the peace agreement in Greater Pibor Administration Area (GPAA). In March 2014, the EU through the PSQIF supported the pivotal peace conference in Addis Ababa between GoSS and the Cobra Faction, led by General David Yau Yau, which led to the formation of the GPAA. IOM has collaborated closely with the PSQIF on subsequent community stabilisation and transition projects.
Consultation with the GPAA leadership and community through 2014 led to key interventions. An important early activity was developing the Humanitarian Hub that has encouraged development actors to concentrate activities in the GPAA and provide visible peace dividends to the community.
This was followed by reconstruction of the dilapidated foot bridge that connects Pibor town to the marketplace, that had rendered the passage inaccessible during the rainy season. The two new classrooms in the boys school and four in the girls school improve learning conditions for former child soldiers and other children in the area.
In his speech at the school event and during a meeting with David Yau Yau, the EU Ambassador reaffirmed the commitment of the EU to reconciliation and peacebuilding. In talking about the occasion in the holistic arena of the conflict and anticipated peace agreement in South Sudan, the Ambassador underlined the positive aspects of community development and the opening of a school.
IOM Chief of Mission David Derthick signed the classrooms over to Deputy Chief Administrator GPAA David Okwier. Children thanked IOM and partner UNICEF with songs and well wishes.
In attendance was the Hon. Nakure Kelega Commissioner of Pibor County, His Excellency Stefano Deleo, EU Ambassador, Her Excellency Molly Catherine Phee, US Ambassador; Hon. Hassan Wawo Ferekol, Minister of Education, GPAA, Hon. Michael Lopuke Lotyam, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) Juba and Deputy Chief Administrator GPAA David Okwier.