On October 8, 2021, the European Union has joined hands with WFP and UNOPS to respond to the famine risk in South Sudan by boosting food security through a dual approach. The new funding will indeed provide life-saving food assistance and nutrition support to millions of people while further improving infrastructure and connectivity in rural areas with agricultural potential.
Dionyz Hochel, Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to South Sudan, attended the launch with Wim Vandenbroucke, EU Head of Cooperation, who explained the substantial support is based on some alarming conclusions of the 2020 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report.
“The EU is particularly keen on addressing food security on a structural basis. South Sudan’s agricultural sector has all potential for the country to become self-reliant on food security. In addition, agriculture development can create much needed job prospects for youth. The EU cares about South Sudan and stands ready to support all goodwill and well-targeted policies,” says Wim Vandenbroucke.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of US$ 26 million (€ 22.1 million) from the European Union to scale up and strengthen its livelihoods and resilience projects for nearly 100,000 people in Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal states, and parts of the Greater Upper Nile Region.WFP will use the funds to continue supporting 60,000 smallholder farmers through its livelihoods projects, building their capacity, providing agricultural inputs and tools to increase their production, reduce food losses and enhance their access to markets in the next four years.
“WFP believes that empowering communities to produce their own food is foundational in our fight against hunger. This generous contribution demonstrates the European Union’s commitment to tackling food insecurity and boosting economic development in South Sudan,” says Matthew Hollingworth, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan.
Similarly, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) also received $15.4 million (€13 million) from the European Union for the construction of 115 kilometres of feeder roads, two priority bridges and WASH infrastructure that have been prioritized by state and local authorities in Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal states. These main roads will lead farmers to rural community access roads that WFP will construct to connect farmers to grain aggregation centres and farms.
“We thank the EU for financing feeder roads construction. Roads are a priority because without roads, we cannot have other services like health, schools and water,” says Simon Mijak, the national Minister of Roads and Bridges.
“Many places are cut off by floods and the feeder roads help the state more than the trunk roads - where the government is focusing,” says the acting governor of Warrap State, Peter Paduol Mangong.
“UNOPS works with all stakeholders in the communities and we do not override the wishes of the communities. This demonstrates how devoted we are as an organization to the EU, the government and the people of South Sudan,” says Peter Mutoredzanwa, UNOPS’ Country Director in South Sudan.