During a visit to Khartoum, the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Emanuela Claudia Del Re, reinforced Italy’s support for education, peace and stability, and livelihoods in Sudan.
The Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs Minister inaugurated a new block of the Mayo Girls Basic School in Al Yarmouk’s Block 7 in Mayo, Khartoum State, and signed a new UNDP-Italy agreement – seeing a further €1.3M committed for peace and social stability projects in Khartoum State and South Darfur. The focus for this work will include job and community infrastructure creation, and peacebuilding.
Building on previous Italian support for the school, the newly inaugurated block includes eight new classrooms and rooms, three latrines, and drinking water stations - integrating into the school’s existing three rooms - for 1,800 students.
Speaking at the inauguration, alongside Sudanese and UNDP officials, Deputy Minister Del Re said Italy is committed to supporting education, as education is the best investment we can make to give a better chance to our children, and promote resilience to future radicalization and violent conflicts.
In her speech, the Deputy Minister recalled Paolo Dieci – who the school is named after – as an invaluable colleague who dedicated his life to international cooperation, lately as President of Link 2007, the Italian network of NGOs.
Alongside the school block inauguration, the Deputy Minister met with Mayo youth and women who have taken part in vocational training for leatherwork and commodity product creation, intended to develop livelihoods and new opportunities.
Deputy Minister Del Re was joined at the event by H.E. Lt. Gen. Ahmed Abdwn, Governor of Khartoum, and Let. Gen. Hussam Aldeen Mohammed, Jabel Awlia Commissioner. The ceremony was attended also by the Ambassador of Italy – H.E Gianluigi Vassallo, UNDP Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran, and the head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Khartoum, Vincenzo Racalbuto.
The new school block, and vocational training, were funded by Italy in partnership with UNDP and the Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission. These and the new agreement are just a small part of Italy’s support for UNDP's work, specifically its Community Security and Stabilization Programme (C2SP) – which supports communities and people most at risk of becoming involved in conflict.
During the ceremony, UNDP’s Selva Ramachandran thanked Italy for their support. He also highlighted the success of C2SP, particularly its expansion to 55 more communities across Sudan, supporting greater results in community-level inclusive development, youth employment, displaced population support, and women’s empowerment.
The Governor of Khartoum echoed thanks to Italy and UNDP for their commitment to Mayo, and highlighted that it is our joint duty to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.