The Near East Foundation (NEF) has been working in Sudan since 1978, supporting disadvantaged communities through education, peacebuilding, business development, agriculture and natural resource management, climate adaptation, and health care projects.
NEF is a US-based organisation which works in the Middle East and Africa to improve the conditions of communities facing chronic poverty, conflict and environmental hazards. In Sudan it operates with a team of 10 Sudanese staff members and it focuses on three main areas.
Peacebuilding and economic development.
NEF provides people affected by war, including ex-combatants and internally displaced persons (IDPs), with training in business, natural resource management, and conflict management skills that enable them to reintegrate into their communities and rebuild both economically and socially. Following the trainings, NEF offers micro-credit loans, in-kind grants, and on-going business coaching to help ex-combatants start their own small businesses.
Natural resources management and environmental sustainability
In North Kordofan NEF works with gum Arabic producers, helping them adopt efficient techniques that improve the quantity and quality of their harvest, and plant Acacias trees to preserve and expand forests. Since the project started, some farmers have increased their incomes by as much as $200 per month.
Healthcare and humanitarian relief
In 2000 NEF opened a health centre in the Dar Es-Salaam al-Rabwa IDP community outside of Khartoum, where more than 40,000 residents lacked access to basic health care, education, and water. The clinic is now managed by a local aid organisation and provides health services to nearly 2,000 patients per month.