About 2.4m metric tons of food required for returnees
Seiji Okada, Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan speaks at CAMP and IDMP
Conference yesterday (photo: Woja Emmanuel)
By Woja Emmanuel Wani
About 2.4 Million metric tons of food is required to feed over 4 million South Sudanese who are expected to return from the refugee settlements and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps according to Seiji Okada, Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan.
Okada was speaking during the Comprehensive Agriculture Master Plan (CAMP) and Irrigation Development Master Plan (IDMP) Implementation Donor and Stakeholder Conference held yesterday at the Parliamentary Affairs Hall in Juba.
According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees have sought safety in six neighboring countries Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR). Another 1.9 million remain internally displaced inside South Sudan.
Amb. Okada said that with the signing of the Revitalized peace agreement, all refugees in neighboring nations and (IDPs) will be repatriated.
“The peace of South Sudan is around the corner and there are more than 4M refugees and IDPs all these people are coming back to their home. That require 2.4m ton of rice for the returnees only,” Amb. Okada said yesterday.
Okada added that it’s time to engage in actual projects and capacity building activities in the country.
He also called upon the government and the international community to coordinate with one another to spawn valuable upshot of their missions’ investments in the country.
“I strongly appeal to the government and the international community that we need to coordinate so that we can bring more effective outcome of our projects,” Okada added.
Meanwhile the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Onyoti Adigo stressed that the political environment and low levels of infrastructure have let to lack of diversified likelihood opportunities and weak level of the economy.
He added that financial assistance and supports to farmers’ cooperative groups have not been set up to support farmers’ activities.
Adigo said to develop, private sector and agricultural produce markets have to be established to support the national strategy aimed at delivering basic services.
Adigo urged the large scale farmers to provide market for small scale farmers’ produce on contract basis.
The Conference was organized by the Inter-Ministerial Committee Supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the theme “Political commitment and policy dialogue enhancement for agriculture development in South Sudan”.
The function was attended by over hundred dignitaries from the government, Country Diplomats, United Nations Agencies, and other development partners.
First Vice President General Taban Deng Gai was the presiding Guest of Honor.