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Southern Sudanese women prioritise developing infrastructure

4/7/2005 4:52pm

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 6 (PANA) -- Southern Sudanese women have demanded the restoration of the non-existence infrastructure in the area as a matter of priority for funding ahead of the international donors' conference for Sudan to be held in Oslo (Norway) next week.

More than 50 women drawn mainly from the civil society groups identified education, healthcare, water, infrastructure and legal issues among other pressing development issues they said required urgent funding.

"We see the donors' conference as an opportunity for us Sudanese women to be able to articulate critical issues for reconstruction and also for us to participate in defining the future of our country," Anisia Achieng, director of Sudan's Women's Voice for Peace, told a news conference in Nairobi after a consultative meeting in Nairobi.

She added: "We also hope that since the Sudanese women have prioritised their issues, we hope and call upon the development partners to really support and provide resources to make women issues to be actualised."

The Sudanese women held the consultative meeting facilitated by UN Fund for Women (UNIFM) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in the wake of the Nairobi peace agreement signed on 9 January this year and also in the realisation that some critical areas to be considered for funding are not strong enough on women's issues.

The two-day donor meeting in Oslo beginning on 11 April, which both UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be attending, is expected to fundraise 7.8 billion US dollars over the next two and a half years for a recovery and development programme for Africa's largest country after 21-years of war.

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