FAO Regional Office for Africa

A Decade of fruitful collaboration

South Sudan Government and FAO commemorate 10th anniversary of close cooperation towards ending food and nutrition insecurity

FAO & the Government of South Sudan celeberated 10 years of cooperation. Juba, South Sudan. ©FAO/ Tezeta Hailemeskel

21 June 2023, Juba South Sudan - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the South Sudan government commemorated their 10th anniversary of cooperation amid calls to redouble efforts towards improving food and nutrition security.

The colourful event was held on 20 June 2023, in Juba City, South Sudan, in the presence of diplomats, development partners, UN agencies and government line ministries.

In his official remarks at the event, the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Onyeti Adigo Nyikech highlighted that millions of South Sudanese continue to be food insecure, with children being malnourished amidst plenty of agricultural resources, especially in the livestock and fisheries sectors. He further noted, “The transformation and commercialization of the livestock sector requires a concerted effort from the government, development actors such as FAO, private sectors, farmers and development partners.”

In his statement, FAO Africa Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile Gabriel, stated that the commemoration event necessitated deep reflection on, and renewed commitments to, enhanced actions and results supported by innovation, partnerships, and better institutional effectiveness. Reflecting on the next steps, he stressed the importance of sustainable commercialization of agri-food sectors, “which can provide a great opportunity for economic growth, employment creation and diversification of livelihoods. It is important to note that women play an instrumental role in agriculture peacebuilding and social cohesion”, he said.

The commemorative event also witnessed two undertakings, the signing of the new Country Programming Framework (CPF) for the period (2023- 2025) and the official launch of the new FAO warehouse that would store essential agricultural inputs.

The CPF document was signed by the FAO Representative Meshack Malo and Undersecretaries for Ministries of Livestock and Fisheries and of Agriculture and Food Security. The document sets out government priority areas to guide FAO partnership during these three years.

Speaking at the event, Malo noted, “The CPF heralds heightened partnership and collaboration between FAO and the government of South Sudan in the next three years, and aligns well with Government priorities as well as FAO’s strategic priorities including the Four Betters: Better production, Better nutrition, Better environment and Better life.”

Moving from dependency to food self-sufficiency
In recent years, FAO has been moving its emphasis and approach from emergency to resilience to realise long-term food and agriculture sustainability. To this end, South Sudan has to focus on fully exploiting its vast potential in agriculture, livestock and fisheries, among others, to move away from dependency towards food self-sufficiency.

Presently, FAO South Sudan has 28 active programmes (worth 268 million) implemented across the ten states and three administrative areas under its 14 field offices.

Under this renewed partnership, FAO and the Government of South Sudan will work together in the next three years, focusing on key strategic areas that include policy, strategic and institutional frameworks for agriculture, fisheries, forestry, food and nutrition security; strengthening farmer and producer organizations; agribusiness development and market access for increased incomes; and strengthening resilient agri-food systems to threats and crisis.

Cooperation between South Sudan and FAO started before the country achieved independence in 2011, with the opening of an FAO office in Juba in 2006. The government officially joined as a Member State on 16 June 2013.