November 13, 2017 (JUBA) – The Netherlands Kingdom has donated $6 million to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to boost emergency and resilience responses in war-torn South Sudan.
- FAO’s José Graziano da Silva and WFP’s David Beasley visit IDPs in Unity region South Sudan on 24 May 2017 (WFP Photo)
The Netherlands ambassador to South Sudan, Geert Geut and the FAO South Sudan Representative, Serge Tissot signed the arrangement for a contribution of the $6 million on 10 November.
The programme, officials said in a statement, seeks to increase 3.9 million peoples’ abilities to produce their own food by providing them with fishing, crop- and vegetable-growing kits.
Over 80 percent of South Sudanese solely depend on agriculture for their livelihood, yet a lack of proper fishing equipment, quality seeds and planting materials severely constrains yields, statistics indicate.
“By saving livelihoods, lives are saved,” adds the statement.
It said livestock, particularly cattle, goats and sheep are an important social and economic asset in South Sudan, and under this programme FAO will protect these assets through the vaccination and treatment campaign targeting up to 7.4 million animals.
“We are very honoured to receive this generous donation by the Government of the Netherlands, which comes at a critical time for the people of South Sudan,” said Tissot, further adding “Our latest assessments show that in 2018 FAO must respond to the highest levels of food insecurity ever reported, making this funding critical.”
Last week, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report released showed that 4.8 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity, of which 25 000 people are facing catastrophic conditions of food insecurity in two counties: Wau and Ayod.
“Netherlands is very pleased to contribute, with other donors, to this programme, as it is an important element in our collective effort to improve food security in South Sudan” said Geut.
“The programme will work with 650 000 households throughout the country and help farmers, livestock keepers and fishermen, many of them women, to survive and create a decent source of living again,” he added.
Meanwhile, FAO’s Emergency Livelihood and Resilience Programme in South Sudan is reportedly only 28% funded. The agency thus requires an additional $45 million for the programme in 2018 to meet its targets.