Home | News    Saturday 14 October 2006

US firm gets $700-mln contract for South Sudan infrastructure

Oct 12, 2006 (WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded The Louis Berger Group a five-year contract to improve infrastructure in Southern Sudan.

U.S. President George W. Bush shakes hands with the First Vice President of the Government of National Unity of Sudan Salva Kiir, who is also President of Southern Sudan in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington July 20, 2006.

The contract for the Infrastructure Services Project has a $700-million ceiling and will support the expansion of transportation, social, and economic infrastructure in Southern Sudan and the Three Areas (Abyei, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan).

Two decades of civil war devastated Southern Sudan’s infrastructure and crippled the local economy. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 ended the war, but the lack of infrastructure and the physical isolation of Southern Sudanese communities have complicated post-war recovery efforts.

The Infrastructure Services Project seeks to build and rehabilitate structures that will restore basic services, build markets, and strengthen Sudan’s ability to reconstruct their nation.

Under this contract, the Louis Berger Group will focus on transportation, urban development, water, sanitation, public buildings, energy, and natural resources.

The program has three components: construction and repair services to raise structures and establish physical systems and facilities; equipment and commodities to support operations; and technical assistance to help build capacity in the nascent Government of Southern Sudan in order to operate and maintain the new structures and services that will be established.

"With this program, we have the ability to lay the groundwork for real, long-lasting improvements in education, health, and economic growth in Southern Sudan, which in turn will help families to return home and recover from the war," said USAID/Sudan Mission Director Katherine Almquist. "We welcome the opportunity to continue working closely with the Government of Southern Sudan in making changes that improve the lives of Sudanese people and help secure the peace."

In August, USAID awarded the smaller, quicker-impact Accelerated Infrastructure Program grant to the United Nations Office for Project Services.

In addition to these two awards, USAID has spent $84.2 million since fiscal year 2004 on improving infrastructure in Southern Sudan and the Three Areas. Work has included building roads, clearing landmines, and planning, mapping, and electrifying towns. USAID also supported the establishment of the Southern Ministry of Transportation and Roads.

Sudan is USAID’s largest program in Sub-Saharan Africa, totaling $855 million in fiscal year 2005. The complex program provides extensive humanitarian and food aid to vulnerable people in Southern and Eastern Sudan and Darfur, as well as extensive reconstruction assistance in the south, Abyei, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan.