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Dier Tong Ngor, (2nd Left) South Sudan's minister of finance and planning and Themba Bhebhe, (2nd Right) country manager of AfDB in South Sudan during the signing ceremony of grant on building food and nutrition security resilience on Monday in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

AFDB provides 7 m USD to strengthen food, nutrition security in South Sudan

By Kitab Unango

South Sudan’s government received on Monday a grant worth 7 million U.S dollars from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help build resilience to food and nutrition security.

Dier Tong Ngor, minister of finance and planning said that the grant under the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme (ADRiFi) will also support refugees and the host communities in Upper Nile state to set up small business enterprises.

“The first grant is meant to help enhance resilience and response to climate shocks in South Sudan, as it will contribute to improving our ability to manage climate risks and disaster. The project will enhance climate services, infrastructure and also provide climate risk finance and insurance,” he said during the signing ceremony held in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

The first grant that covers food and nutrition security resilience is worth 5.84 million dollars, and the second grant of 1.28 million dollars will support training, and provide seed financing to help build entrepreneurship capacity of refugees and host communities.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank AfDB, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and also the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for this funding which is coming really at the right time given what is happening in our northern border with Sudan,” Ngor said.

Meschack Malo, FAO country representative in South Sudan, said the facility will enable South Sudan be able to pilot an insurance scheme for it’s farmers.

“We (South Sudan) have been considered for this facility and through that we are going to begin piloting measures that could enable adaptation, because with climate change we have to appreciate that there are going to be certain moments when what we plant is not going to come through,” Malo said.

“We are very worried because as you know the rains just dropped in just some three days ago, that is a huge delay of over one month and the rains that have been there just for the two showers are not sufficient,” he added.

These two facility add up to the over 200 million dollars that the African Development Bank is supporting the country.

Allehone Abebe, UNHCR assistant representative for protection in South Sudan, said the government of South Sudan has made important pledges and promises to ensure the inclusion of refugees in granting them land, promoting skills for refugees and trying to open space for refugees and internally displaced persons to have options for solutions.

This grant targets not only refugees in Renk, Upper Nile, special administrative areas but also host communities, who are South Sudanese, and there is a lot of promise what this will mean especially for women and youth, these are the groups that we are targeting,” Abebe said.

South Sudan currently hosts more than 310,000 refugees and over 90,000 people who have recently fled conflict in neighboring Sudan since April 15.

 The vast majority of the returnees from Sudan are South Sudanese.

 Themba Bhebhe, country manager of AfDB in South Sudan, said the projects will support the government of South Sudan towards achieving it’s vision 2040, as set in the revised national development strategy (R-NDS) 2021-2024, which is an instrument for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and it’s five priority areas.

“These investments will result into enhanced production of climate services for agriculture, livestock, climate insurance and early warning, and enhanced sustainable protection against climate shocks in South Sudan,” Bhebhe said.

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