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USAID launches new sustainable agriculture program in S. Sudan

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October 14, 2017 (JUBA) - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a three-year Sustainable Agriculture for Economic Resiliency project in war-torn South Sudan.

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South Sudan agriculture (Getty)

The program, it said, will address widespread food and nutrition deficiencies and help communities become increasingly resilient to shocks, including conflict, economic and environment-related shocks.

More than three years of conflict have made South Sudan one of the world’s most food-insecure countries, with more than half the population facing life-threatening hunger, USAID said in a release.

Launched in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the project targets households experiencing stress and crisis levels of food insecurity, to prevent them from falling into worse levels of food insecurity and famine.

The project, according to the US aid arm, will mainly focus on sustainable livelihoods for people displaced by conflict and those who have returned to their home areas and have access to productive assets such as livestock and micro-enterprise activities.

Household and community livelihoods enterprises like beekeeping, aquaculture, and livestock will also benefit from the new program.

“We continue to adjust our programs to best assist the people of South Sudan considering the enormous challenges they are facing, including dire economic circumstances and widespread displacement due to conflict,” said USAID Mission Director, Jeff Bakken.

“This project is designed to complement our humanitarian assistance for the most at risk-people, by helping to empower those who have means of growing their own food and engaging in income-producing activities. We want to help those people to be able to support their families,” he added.

The three-year project offers a real chance to improve conditions for the most vulnerable families, FAO’s Deputy Representative and Officer in Charge in South Sudan Pierre Vauthier said in the release.

“Farming, fishing and pastoral households will be supported to produce process and sell their own food, leading to families and communities being more resilient to withstand any new threats to their food security,” he stressed.

The USAID-funded project will operate in South Sudan’s legacy states of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Jonglei and Western Equatoria areas, which are conducive for agriculture, livestock, fisheries, natural resource management and income-generating activities.

(ST)

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