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FAO gives new funding to South Sudan amid Sudan crisis

By Xinhua

   JUBA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has announced funding worth 500,000 U.S. dollars for strategic emergency agricultural assistance to people in South Sudan affected by the crisis in Sudan.
   The FAO said 300,000 dollars for emergency livelihood assistance will reach 10,000 returnees, newly displaced populations, and host communities affected by the crisis in Sudan. "FAO is intensifying efforts to increase the resilience of the country's agrifood systems to shocks and crises, and reduce its dependency from food imports and external assistance, as hunger and malnutrition continue to rise nationally," it said in a statement issued in the South Sudanese capital of Juba on Wednesday evening.
   The UN food agency said it will procure and distribute crop seeds to 6,000 households, vegetable kits to 5,000 households and fishing kits to another 5,000 households.
   According to the FAO, 200,000 dollars of Hand-in-Hand (HIH) funding will contribute to government priorities of sustainable economic growth and diversification by supporting country-led programs.
   "With this funding, the FAO will support 10 governmental researchers as well as 1,000 farmers and 500 fishers to build knowledge and skills in sorghum and sesame production, including soil and water management practices and fisheries, post-harvest handling and preservation," it said.
   It said the dire food insecurity situation in South Sudan is driven by the cumulative effects of climate shocks, particularly floods and dry spells, poor agriculture infrastructure, conflict and economic downturns. This, it said, is exacerbated by continued currency depreciation and the price inflation of food and other essential commodities, mainly due to the exacerbation of food prices as a result of COVID-19, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and the recent crisis in Sudan, which has affected markets and caused an influx of refugees and returnees.
   According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase analysis, severe food insecurity is affecting more than half of the population, with 7.76 million people likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, including an estimated 43,000 people likely to face Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) acute food insecurity.
   Meshack Malo, FAO South Sudan country representative, expressed his commitment to ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry and food security improves significantly in the country. "To this end, South Sudan has to be assisted to fully exploit its vast potential in agriculture, livestock and fisheries to move away from food dependency to self-sufficiency," Malo said.  Enditem
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