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South Sudan, IFAD sign deal to boost productivity, food security

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June 27, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan has signed a $19.9 million project with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to boost productivity and food security in the country.

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South Sudan agriculture (Getty)

The agreement was signed virtually by IFAD’s President Gilbert F. Houngbo and South Sudan’s Finance minister, Athian Ding Athian.

The project, IFAD said in a statement, is expected to bring the much needed help to 38,800 rural households facing the impacts of poverty, food insecurity and climate change.

In the South Sudan Livelihoods Resilience Project (SSLRP), 70% of beneficiaries will reportedly be youth and 60% women, including returnees, women-headed households and persons with disabilities, who will receive particular attention to facilitate their integration into agricultural production and rural economy activities.

“SSLRP represents IFAD’s formal re-engagement in South Sudan, and seeks to empower rural communities to conceptualize and manage rural enterprises in agriculture production and post-harvest management, whilst devoting significant resources to address climate vulnerability, social inclusion and the empowerment of women and young people,” said Bernadette Mukonyora, the IFAD Country Director for South Sudan.

During the implementation phases of the project, SSLRP will reportedly partner with the African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank.

The project will operate in Magwi and Torit counties of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State, Kajo-Keji and Terekeka counties of Central Equatoria State as well as Bor county in Jonglei State.

Meanwhile to implement the SSLRP, IFAD is reportedly providing a $1.9 million loan, $7.9 million grant and $4.0 million IFAD climate finance while South Sudan government will provide $1.6 million.

Additional funds include a $5.6 million from the AfDB as parallel co-financing and a $0.8 million from the beneficiaries themselves.

“The Government of the Netherlands will provide US$8.0 million grant as additional co-financing for SSLRP to support rural feeder roads for agriculture production and access to markets,” IFAD said.

About 80 per cent of the population in South Sudan are living below the poverty line and still depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

(ST)

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