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Integrated enterprise and market systems assessment on the refugee and host community livelihoods in Sudan: Groundnut and sesame value chains in West Kordofan and East Darfur

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Sudan has a long history of hosting forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) from within its borders and from other countries in the region. Refugees and asylum seekers have made their way to Sudan from the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen in search of safety from violence and other perils in their countries of origin. These populations are often confronted with high levels of poverty, in part because many of them are hosted in some of Sudan’s poorest regions, where host communities (HCs) already face a scarcity of resources and services. With the number of FDPs in Sudan gradually rising, particularly those in protracted settings, durable solutions are needed to build resilience, self-reliance and empowerment for FDPs and HCs alike.

To this end, in 2019 the Government of the Netherlands launched the Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and HCs (PROSPECTS). The initiative brings together five agencies — World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), UNICEF, UNHCR and ILO — with the goal of transforming and strengthening the role of development interventions in contexts characterized by forced displacement. Within the partnership, the ILO leverages its expertise and experience in the world of work to improve socio-economic resilience and create decent jobs in targeted regions.

As part of this work, the ILO has carried out numerous activities across Sudan with particular emphasis on the states of East Darfur and West Kordofan. Protracted conflict has severely limited the availability and stability of livelihood opportunities in both states, while significant influxes of South Sudanese FDPs in the last decade have put this already fragile economic situation under greater stress. As a result, FDPs in the two states are severely hindered in their ability to access basic services to support themselves and their families, leaving them heavily reliant on humanitarian actors.

The following report details the findings of market assessments conducted on the groundnut and sesame value chains in East Darfur and West Kordofan. It also seeks to build on the findings of previous integrated enterprise and market system assessments conducted by the ILO to offer a comprehensive overview of the target groups, locations and value chains. Throughout the process, FDPs and HCs remain the central focus. This was achieved largely by applying the Approach to Inclusive Market Systems (AIMS), a methodology developed in collaboration with the UNHCR to apply the ILO’s value chain development approach to contexts of forced displacement.