Norway boosts support for crisis-affected farmers, fisherfolk and herders in South Sudan

Norway boosts support for crisis-affected farmers, fisherfolk and herders in South Sudan

22/06/2016

The Government of Norway and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have signed a new agreement worth USD 7 million aimed at enhancing the resilience of agricultural livelihoods in South Sudan and rapidly improving the food security of vulnerable families.

The agreement was signed by Her Excellency Tone Tinnes, the Norwegian Ambassador to South Sudan, at the National Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries compound in Gudele, Juba, site of the FAO-supported central veterinary cold chain, partially established with Norway funding and supporting the Ministry and livestock activities.

The signing ceremony programme included speeches from the Minister of the National Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Hon. James Janka Duku, Ms Tinnes, and FAO Representative, Serge Tissot, followed by a tour of the cold chain facilities in the compound. Hon. Minister Duku noted the close relationship between FAO and the Ministry and reiterated his appreciation of the continued support from Norway. “The support pledged by the Government of Norway to assist vulnerable South Sudanese families, who depend entirely on agriculture for their food security and livelihood is greatly appreciated,” he said.

Norway has been a generous contributor to FAO’s emergency livelihood response programme, and in 2015 provided funds to preposition vital agricultural inputs to ensure farmers received them in time for planting in 2016. Funds under this new agreement will continue to support the preparation for and implementation of FAO’s emergency livelihood response programme from mid-2016 into 2017 across both rural and urban settings. “I am pleased with the impressive results of this programme and the huge impact it is having on South Sudanese families”, noted Ms Tinnes, “… in spite of the huge challenges faced, FAO has successfully procured seeds locally and is supplementing Government efforts by introducing agriculture, water harvesting and gardens in schools. This is just a small solution to some of the problems this country is facing”. Ms Tinnes highlighted the importance of finding lasting solutions to the challenges facing South Sudan through greater collaboration between the Government, the South Sudanese people and donors.

“The livelihood kits distributed this year by FAO thanks to funding from Norway have meant that thousands of farmers have been able to restart or continue producing food”, said Mr Tissot. “It is critical that we continue helping vulnerable farmers, fishers and herders to build stronger, more resilient livelihoods and become more self-sufficient in food production. Agricultural livelihoods play a critical role in ensuring national food security and economic growth and contributing to future peace and stability.” 

So far in 2016, under the emergency livelihood response programme, FAO has been able to distribute ahead of the planting season, crop seeds and agricultural tools to more than 180 000 households. In addition, FAO is distributing vegetable and fishing kits to more than 150,000 rural households across South Sudan. Over three million animals have been vaccinated and/or treated during the dry season vaccination campaign.