The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2012: South Sudan

The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2012: South Sudan
Dec 2011

On 9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan achieved independence, ending decades of conflict.

While the referendum to separate from the Sudan and formal secession took place without major impediments, considerable issues, such as the status of the disputed area of Abyei, remain unresolved. Local authorities estimate that from January to October 2011, pockets of violence, especially along the northern border, had claimed 3 165 lives and displaced 325 723 people.

In spite of this, the progress made in 2011 marks a significant milestone towards peace and stability after decades of conflict, displacement and natural disasters.

Challenges facing food security and livelihoods

The food security situation continued to decline in 2011 as a result of low agricultural production, market volatility and high food and commodity prices. Scattered violence leading up to and following the referendum and secession has further reduced farmers’ access to land and disrupted agricultural markets and trade.

Results of the June Food Security Monitoring Mission indicated that 11 percent of the country’s households were severely food insecure and that 33 percent were moderately food insecure. As a result of late rains and widespread dry spells, a grain deficit of 30–40 percent is projected for 2012. These figures will increase as more IDPs and refugees return to their homes.

By October 2011, 347 375 refugees had returned to South Sudan from the North. The slow pace of land allocation to these returnees for residential and agricultural purposes has delayed the successful resumption of food production. Supporting vulnerable households with agricultural inputs, such as seeds, hand tools and fishing gear as well as targeted training, will be crucial for reintegrating families with access to land into the production cycle.

Violence has also reduced access to pastures and rendered livestock vulnerable to the many animal diseases prevalent in South Sudan. This vulnerability is further exacerbated by inadequate veterinary services. More than 70 percent of households in South Sudan rely significantly on livestock for their food security.

Most of the IDPs and refugees that returned in 2011 settled in and around urban areas, making them almost entirely dependent on markets for food. With more than 50 percent increases in food prices in some states, providing access to affordable food and agricultural support to peri-urban households will be essential to improve food security.

FAO response

FAO seeks to restore agricultural production and access to food for over 1.1 million people, mostly returnees and women. In rural areas, FAO will provide crop production inputs and livestock vaccinations, organize seed fairs and train farmers on animal traction, energy-saving stoves and conservation agriculture.

The provision of fruit and vegetable seeds and seedlings, micro-irrigation foot pumps as well as poultry and small ruminants will increase food production in urban and peri-urban areas, especially during the dry season. FAO will also provide small grants for milk and milk-processing enterprises and the construction of vegetable stalls and hygienic animal slaughter facilities so as to connect producers with markets.

More than 60 percent of FAO’s intended beneficiaries will be women. FAO will continue to use and promote gender-disaggregated baselines and vulnerability indicators for the analysis of activities carried out within the Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster.