Norway’s gift will allow FAO to distribute emergency livelihood kits – including crop seeds, fishing tools, vegetable seeds and livestock health kits – to an additional 50 000 vulnerable households, enabling them to plant crops, fish waterways and protect livestock from critical diseases.
The contribution will also allow FAO to distribute fuel efficient stoves, protecting women from the risks associated with collecting firewood and mitigating the environmental impact of population movements.
“Norway’s injection of funds has arrived at the right time – many families have experienced severe food insecurity for over eight months and need urgent assistance now,” said Sue Lautze, FAO’s Head of Office in South Sudan and the UN’s Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the country.
“By distributing these livelihood kits, we are giving fisherfolk the means to fish, farmers to plant and pastoralists to keep their herds alive. This in turn puts food on the table. Milk, vegetables, fish, meat – these are keeping a lot of people alive right now.”
Protracted food insecurity in 2014 will have lasting consequences for South Sudan’s most vulnerable, many of whom have been forced to sell their few assets or adopt other negative coping strategies in an effort to survive, compromising their ability to resume food production in the future.
“This grant for improving livelihood and food security is part of the Norwegian support to address the humanitarian needs in South Sudan”, says Ambassador Tone Tinnes.
“The Norwegian Government organized a humanitarian donor conference in Oslo in May this year, and our pledges for increased humanitarian assistance are now being disbursed to a number of humanitarian actors such as UN agencies and international NGOs. This grant to FAO will assist many families and gives them the tools they need to help themselves.”
More support is needed
FAO is taking a two-pronged approach to improving food security and nutrition in South Sudan.
Livelihood kits are being distributed to families in severely affected areas, while efforts are being made to boost food production in less-affected counties.
Working with the World Food Programme and UNICEF to deliver inputs to remote communities by airdrop, airlift, boat and truck, FAO has released emergency kits to reach more than 1.5 million people with vital inputs for fishing, farming and livestock rearing.
“The fishing and vegetable kits in particular are having an immediate impact on the availability of food for the families we have been able to reach so far,” Lautze said.
Thanks to funds already provided by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Africa Solidary Trust Fund, the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid and the UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund, over 350 000 livelihood kits have been released to partners by FAO.
FAO still needs an additional $48 million to reach its target of assisting 3.3 million people and begin pre-positioning supplies in time for the 2015 seasons.
African Eye News