Joint News Release
A campaign to encourage both the host and refugee communities to produce more food and fight hunger by prioritizing farming has been launched in Maban by the government, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and member NGOs.
The campaign aims to ensure that people have regular access to farming training and high quality seeds and tools to help yield a higher than usual harvest and better food security.
Maban County, in Greater Upper Nile State, is home to both the natives of the area and refugees who fled conflict in Sudan. The county continues to suffer high levels of food insecurity due to protracted conflict that led to reduced food production and constantly disrupted livelihoods, poor crop performance, as well as prolonged dry seasons and flooding.
The recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report projected that more than 65 percent of the population in the whole of Upper Nile would face food crisis for the period between February and April 2018 and possible catastrophe between May – July.
To alleviate the situation, FAO, together with WFP and UNHCR, provides farmers with necessary support, including training, the distribution of crop and vegetable kits and tools for farming and the support of the livestock sector by providing vaccinations and treatment services. Through targeted radio programmes, both the host community and refugees receive technical education on managing their livelihood and harvests.
“It is critical that people are able to produce their own food, which is why we help them to put farming first,” said Pierre Vauthier, FAO Deputy Country Representative. “In Maban, we continue to work with vulnerable farmers, fisher folk and herders to build resilience and self-reliance.”
“It is important that vulnerable households are given a chance to bounce back and take advantage of the growing season” said WFP Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan. “WFP is committed to helping build resilient communities that can survive shocks affecting their food insecurity.”
“This assistance means a lot to refugees. Apart from supporting them to ensure food security at the family level, it also brings a sense of normalcy into their lives, helping them to cope with gruel hardships of the life of displaced,” said Johann Siffointe, UNHCR Representative for South Sudan.
To combat food insecurity in Maban, FAO’s emergency livelihood response programme supported 860 000 vulnerable households with sustainable agricultural inputs last year. In 2018, FAO is continuing to support households, complementing its work with a joint WFP cash-for-assets programme, that aims to build community assets.
As of the end of May 2018, there were 144,474 refugees in Maban. UNHCR promotes broader social economic self-reliance through livelihoods activities. Since 2016, UNHCR distributed seed kits to more than 36,000 families from both refugee and host community in Maban. In 2018, UNHCR is prepositioning assorted seed kits targeting approximately 15,000 vulnerable families.