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The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2010: Sudan

The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2010: Sudan
Nov 2009

Over the past year, Sudan’s Darfur Region has seen an easing of the conflict, with continued talks between the Government of National Unity and the main rebel group – the Justice and Equality Movement – expected in the coming months.

However, intensified banditry and attacks on the local population and aid workers have led to further displacement and hampered efforts to provide humanitarian assistance. The situation in the Transitional Areas and East Sudan – Abyei, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Kassala, Red Sea and Ghadareef – has also improved, increasing the rate of returns to the region, but straining the limited services and infrastructure.

An increasingly frequent cycle of inter- and intra-tribal violence, as well as attacks by the Ugandan rebel group – the LRA – displaced over 320 000 people in Southern Sudan during 2009. The intensity of the conflicts, a widening hunger gap, a rapid increase in the price of food items and a 40 percent drop in the revenues of the Government of Southern Sudan have combined to deepen the poverty of the already vulnerable population. The elections looming in 2010 could spark further violence and force more households into displacement.

Southern Sudan has one of the world’s highest rates of internal displacement due to decades of conflict. An estimated 400 000 Sudanese are living as refugees in other countries and 5 million remain internally displaced. In addition, 280 000 foreign nationals have sought refuge in the Sudan. Simultaneous returns and displacement are likely to continue in 2010 throughout the Sudan, impacting on service delivery and placing increasing pressure on the natural resource base.

Challenges facing food security and livelihoods

Chronic poverty, insecurity, recurrent natural disasters and underdevelopment are severely affecting livelihoods and food security across the Sudan. Poor harvests are expected in many parts of Southern Sudan due to a combination of irregular rainfall and a shortage of quality seeds. This has extended the usual hunger period this year. Agricultural production is likely to fall by up to 60 percent in 2010, drastically increasing the number of households facing critical acute food insecurity.

Communities’ vulnerability to food insecurity and livelihoods impoverishment has intensified owing to decades of conflict, marginalization, limited physical and social infrastructure and the widespread prevalence of hazards (including further violence, floods, drought and disease epidemics). Large-scale displacement has placed extensive pressure on natural resources, resulting in widespread environmental degradation. Competition over increasingly scarce resources is fuelling skirmishes between farmers and pastoralists in the Greater Darfur Region and Southern Sudan, threatening the ongoing peace processes. Furthermore, the expulsion of NGOs in the food security and livelihoods sector in 2009 has seriously limited capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance in remote parts of Darfur.

Throughout Sudan, pests and diseases affect the livelihoods of livestock-owning communities. In the short-term, the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and RVF is not expected to diminish, with long-term effects on food security and income. In Southern Sudan alone, an estimated 8 million cattle and 8 million small ruminants provide an essential source of income for millions of pastoralists and agropastoralists. The continued spread of transboundary animal diseases (TADs), such as peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), deepen vulnerability and threaten human health.

FAO response

Through its emergency response and early recovery interventions in the Sudan, FAO has sought to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable populations by building capacity and promoting sustainable agriculture. During 2010, the Organization plans to continue its efforts to strengthen coordination among all actors involved in the Food Security and Livelihoods Sector in Northern and Southern Sudan. This will involve developing and sharing technical guidelines to ensure quality response, promoting information sharing, supporting strategic planning and the development of stronger coordination mechanisms among Government institutions, NGOs and other partners, and ensuring better accountability among all stakeholders.

In 2010, FAO’s proposed activities will include agricultural input (seeds and tools) distribution, small animal restocking, and provision of veterinary services and training and extension support to vulnerable households in the Transitional Areas, Southern Sudan and Darfur. In Southern Sudan, fishers will receive essential fishing gear, as well as training on fish processing and preservation and net-making. Throughout the Sudan, livelihoods diversification will be promoted through support to activities such as beekeeping, oil pressing and school gardens.

FAO will also work to improve the resilience of vulnerable communities in Southern Sudan, enabling them to cope with and respond to food insecurity and livelihood impoverishment through community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) programmes. This will involve participatory disaster risk appraisals, building capacity on CBDRR, providing livelihoods support through conditional and unconditional cash transfers, strengthening local organizations and improving communication and advocacy for CBDRR.

In order to build national capacity to respond to and rapidly control the spread of TADs, FAO will work to establish mechanisms to identify and verify outbreaks of HPAI, RVF and FMD; strengthen laboratory capacity to detect virulent TADs in Khartoum and Juba; support passive and active livestock disease surveillance; and train technicians to detect and respond to major TADs. In addition, Rapid Response Teams will be created for TAD outbreaks, and border surveillance systems reinforced.