October 30, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The European Union has achieved a 8.5 million Euro developments projects to address food security in four states in eastern Sudan implemented by the Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and local actors.
- Children from the nomadic tribe of the Rashaidas from eastern Sudan they wait on a roadside with their parents for people to come buy their smuggled goods in Tesseney, western Eritrea. (AFP file Photo)
In a joint statement released on Sunday, the EU Mission in Sudan and the FAO said the situation in Sudan, which is vulnerable to climatic variability, has been exacerbated by the effects of El Niño-driven changes in the rainfall pattern.
"This has contributed to reduced water and grazing land availability, as well as lower agricultural production increasing crisis-level food insecurity, especially in the Eastern regions of the Country," underlined the joint statement.
In this context, the purpose of the €8.6 million programme is to address these challenges in eastern Sudan states of Blue Nile, Gedaref, Kassala and Red Sea. Local authorities in the region are involved with the FAO to implement this capacity building and development plan.
“This four years programme is a successful example of FAO and EU collaboration with partner institutions in Sudan to build evidence-based policy responses to food security and nutrition issues in the country,” said Abdi Jama, FAO Representative in Sudan.
Jama further said that the programme set up institutions for collection, analysis and availability of food security information in the four states and pointed to the need for similar projects in the other regions.
On his part, the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation in Sudan Jannik Vaa, said "In the past four years this programme has achieved undeniable successes".
“Systems have been strengthened by the project and hence future responses to food insecurity in Red Sea, Kassala, Gedaref and Blue Nile States will be supported by robust evidence,” Vaa stressed.
He admitted that additional investment at State and Federal level is needed adding "The EU is ready to work with our partners to strengthen food security in Sudan and improve the livelihoods of the rural population."
Over 80% of the labour force in Sudan is engaged in agriculture, and two thirds of the population are living in rural areas. The economically east African country is also hit by armed conflict in southern and western parts.
Eastern Sudan which is one if not the poorest part of the country hosts refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia who quickly quit the region to Khartoum in their rout to Europe through Libya and Egypt.