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Sudan – Italy to help Shidiab population

Italian Cooperation donated 100 tons of cement to Sudan to rebuild the village of Shidiab in the Red Sea state, as well as 3,000 agricultural tools to the state’s Ministry of Agriculture. The measure was part of a cooperative effort between the Emergency Aid Programme and the Poverty Alleviation Project. Shidiab was hit by a violent flood last October which almost wiped it out. A total of 430 homes, around 40 percent of the village, were destroyed. The devastation was made worse because Shidiab is in a depression which made it more liable to flood. The donation, to the local Beja ethnic community, was attended by the Italian Ambassador to Sudan, Fabrizio Lobasso, who was visiting the state. He said: “Helping the most vulnerable groups is a fundamental prerogative of Italian Cooperation’s actions. This measure further reinforces the basis for a new collaboration in the field, as the villagers themselves will build their new village.” Italian Cooperation will help in the reconstruction and the water distribution system and will also provide technical assistance to guarantee the project is a success. The village will be rebuilt in a nearby and higher area to avoid the risk of more floods. The measure is the only example of ‘urban resettlement’ in the Red Sea state and will be based on a modern model agreed with local communities. A variety of agricultural equipment – tools and instruments for Mesquite eradication, pruning, haymaking, tillage, and seed trays – was donated to the state’s Ministry of Agriculture, in the framework of the Poverty Alleviation Project, in the presence of Governor Ali Ahmed Hamid, Minister Awadallah Ibrahim, and Ambassador Lobasso. “Higher quality equipment is vital to agricultural development in the Red Sea State. We thank the Italian government for this generous contribution,” the governor said. The donation will be followed by training courses organised by the Italian Cooperation on how to use the equipment. “Equipment and know-how must go hand in hand for gradual progress in the country,” Ambassador Lobasso concluded.