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Archive for the tag “FAO”

Horrendous bleak situation right now in East Africa/Horn of Africa: Genocide Warnings, Army used against Civilians, Opposition harassed and a surge of refugees between the nations (November 14.2016)

East-Africa

That there is civil-war like activity in Ogaden and Amhara regions in Ethiopia, that there continues internal skirmishes between Burundian security forces and civilians, that the Rwandan Opposition are silenced, In the Democratic Republic of Congo as there guerrillas fighting and killing while the FARDC and MONUSCO doesn’t act against civilians in North and South Kivu; As there are internal fighting between Somaliland, Galdumug, Al-Shabaab and AMISOM. This is all happening as we flick between the channels on the telly.

There we are discussing who’s the next racial biased brother Donald J. Trump thinking of hiring to his executive branch staff at the White House. This is happening while there continue bloodbath, there been genocide warnings for Burundi in October 2016 and South Sudan November 2016. South Sudan are skirmishes happening in Yei State, South Kordofan, West Bahr El Ghazal between SPLM/A and SPLM/A-IO, which is President Kiir and former FVP Machar. There are battles still in Darfur as the Khartoum regime under President Omar Al-Bashir are attacking the SPLM-N and other rebels who fight themselves in the past, but has no written an agreement while the Khartoum has said they will continue to fight them.

Rice in Market

These are killings of civilians in with the mind of staying in power. It is happening with bullets that imported and exported from the rich nations, through back-channels that none of us want to discuss, because it implicates the nations of peace are involved in profits of the death of civilians. This is happening as we go to buy bread at the supermarket, markets for selling cassava and rice are blown to bits, water-sources are getting scarce as these nations are hurt by droughts and dire need of secure agricultural productions, but that is not happening while the big-men are explicitly doing what they can to kill each other for POWER.

The innocent is dying at rapid speed. The livelihoods are dwindling away because the Presidents and Government together with rebels are destroying the nations in their reach of staying with titles, businesses and feeding their elites of the donor funds. This is the situation in Ethiopia, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

Adjumani Refugee Camp

We cannot let this happening while the fleeing civilians are going from one bad situation into another. If the Somalis think of fleeing to Ethiopia, they get into new trouble and Kenyan Government are busy deporting them to PoC sites inside Somalia. If you’re fleeing Ethiopia you have to cross the South Sudan and Sudan. Where the battles between the rivals continue and are bloody. The place of refuge right now is Northern Uganda, the war-torn parts that has had a decade of peace, but the locals are not getting land, but the refugees and businessmen. The reality is that the Government doesn’t have funds to allocate the Refugee camps in Adjumani where the UNICEF organization is lacking funds for support.

Together with the issues of Burundian refugees in Rwanda and Tanzania; the Burundian ones are safe in Tanzania, but still the UN operations doesn’t have the sufficient funds as there are more worry of what the Rwandese authorities do, as they want to send them away because the Burundian Authorities are claiming that Rwandese Government are training rebels to coup d’état against President Nkurunziza.

While the pulling out of ICC happens from Burundi, the Kenyan pulling troops from the UMISS, Ugandan negotiations in dialogue between the parties in Burundi and South Sudan; while the shallow relationships is to see how they all can grind monies out of the international community. The African Union complains to the European Union on payments for the soldiers, while the Ugandan and Burundian government eats of these funds, while the soldiers themselves thieving ammunition and gas to supply themselves with needed salaries.

All of this is happening while the Ethiopian Government has pulled out battalions out of certain areas in Somalia, as Kenyan have a strong force and feeling the pinch for being involved in the internal squabbles between Al-Shabaab, Government and Local-Government in war-torn nation. As Djibouti tries to live in peace, but get trained guerrillas from Eritrea and has built a railroad from Ethiopia so that the coastal state has giant ally on the Horn of Africa.

south-sudan-army-pic

So the civil wars, the skirmishes from governments towards civilians shouldn’t be happening without anyone doing something about it. The Ethiopian, Burundian, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan are now all involved in similar business. The Troika of South Sudan is inactive and like a donor-friendly buddy to Kiir Government, but not certainly acting upon the violence and crimes against humanity. The Sudan government might be under sanctions and has issues with ICC charged President Bashir. Still, they are able to continue to fight civilians in the Darfur Region. The Somali Government feels more powerless as they are donor-friendly and need foreign support for basic operations, while the Al-Shabaab takes stake in every other region, as the Puntland, Galdumug and Somaliland has become more independent and making agreement on their own. As Somaliland have signed giant port-agreement to secure funding of the Civilian Government; also so they can function as nation on their own, though not respected as one from the international community.

This is just the beginning, and it’s not wonderful, it’s bleak… the warnings of GENOCIDE should worry the world in Burundi and South Sudan. But, the current silence, the mediocre attention and no-worries attitude. Is making me shiver and making me worried about the state of affairs in our time!

IGAD Plus

That there are such current state of affairs, the diplomatic works must be in tatters, the African Union is pointless, the East African Community is a Men’s Club for the Presidents, European Union are stooges for big-business, IGAD are Ethiopian skeleton for peaceful operations and the United Nations are powerless with no-mandate or real army to act upon the human rights violations or crimes against humanity if they are occurring.

It’s a reason why these nations want to withdraw from the Roman Statute if they can and still get donor-aid because the armies, laws and regulations of the civilians are massive breaches of international laws. The Geneva Conventions, the UN Charters and the other ones these Nations have signed into.

While the worst is having knowledge of the dying civilians in South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi and Somalia as we speak, the silence and indifference… time to act; time for change and time get it on the agenda. Peace.

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President appeals for aid in the drought-stricken parts of Somalia (14.11.2016)

somaliland-drought

The president announced that the drought situation is very critical due to the delayed seasonal rains, drought has struck parts of Somalia, worst affected are Puntland and north western Somalia of Somaliland.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, November 14, 2016 –  HE Hassan Sheik Mohamud, the president of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), has appealed to Somali pubic and the international community to urgently help Somali people affected by the drought in parts of the country.

“I appeal to the Somali people, wherever they are all over the world to help and stand shoulder to shoulder with their suffering Somali people who lack food and water due to the drought in the country. The government will also take an important part. The Gu’ season has passed without rains with earlier rainy seasons failing. So, the Somali people need to help one another and help their brothers and sisterswith food and water.” said the president of the FGS, HE Hassan Sheik Mohamud.

The president has also appealed to the international community to aid the situation urgently as it is time for action.

“I also appeal to the international community to immediately come to the aid of the Somali people in the affected areas before the situation gets worsened, it is time that an actual interference is made and aid is delivered very urgently in particular drought stricken areas of the country.” The president has appealed.

The president said that the drought has widely affected the country, but some areas are worse than others. “the drought is everywhere but in particular the drought hardly hitthe north western and North Eastern regions of Somalia of Somaliland and Puntland, where many livestock have already been lost, with people starting dying, in both areas the drought is very critical” said HE Hassan Sheik Mohamud, the president the FGS.

The president announced that the drought situation is very critical due to the delayed seasonal rains, drought has struck parts of Somalia, worst affected are Puntland and north western Somalia of Somaliland.

Somali people all over the world had previously taken part in collecting donations to help Somali people affected by droughts and the Somali president expects the same donations by Somali people reaching out to their Somali brothers and sisters worst affected by droughts repeatedly hitting Somalia due to lack of seasonal rains. In addition, the international community should also take their part. The government will make every effort to ensure it contributes to the aid.

South Sudan: Escalating food crisis in 2017, FAO warns (07.11.2016)

WFP South Sudan 2016

07/11/2016: An increasing number of South Sudanese will continue to face difficulty in meeting daily food needs in the coming months despite harvests, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has warned.

The end of the lean season and start of harvests in South Sudan are traditionally associated with a reduction in food insecurity due to more food stocks and lower food prices in the markets, bringing much needed relief. According to recent FAO assessments, the number of severely food insecure people at this time is 3.7 million people – 31 percent of the country’s estimated population and an increase of an overall 1 million people compared to the same period last year.

Though harvests have provided some reprieve, FAO experts warn that the benefits will be short lived as local stocks will deplete rapidly. Following seasonal patterns food insecurity levels in 2017 is destined to rapidly deteriorate to massive proportions. The risk of famine is increasingly real, especially for South Sudan’s most vulnerable communities.

“The renewed violence has had severe repercussions on agricultural production and stability needs to be restored to enable farmers to return to their fields. We are seeing an unprecedented number of food insecure people at harvest time and many more people at risk of starvation in the months to come as stocks run out. There is a need to act now to prevent a catastrophe,” warns Serge Tissot, FAO Representative.

The Equatoria region which is responsible for over half of the country’s net cereal production has been severely impacted by the recent violence. In active conflict areas, an estimated 50 percent of all harvests have been lost and even more farmers were unable to plant for the second season due to insecurity. The displacement of people from those areas is also due to have profound effects on agricultural production, FAO experts warn.

Moreover, of grave concern is the most fragile areas Northern Bahr el Ghazal where the structural drivers of food insecurity – including the protracted economic crisis, market failure and the loss or depletion of livelihood assets – have continued to escalate. FAO’s harvest assessments findings show that farmers in this area have produced less than last year, with some areas being hard-hit by flooding and dry spells, raising their vulnerability. The report highlights Aweil East where sorghum production almost halved, dropping from 0.9 to 0.5 tonnes.

Since the outbreak of fighting in South Sudan’s capital Juba and other parts of the country, cereal prices have increased by more than 500 percent compared to the same period last year. Trade has been crippled by rampant insecurity along the main trade routes and traders’ inability to access hard currency for imports forcing them to close-down their businesses.

“With the market collapsing and many families having little to no safety nets to cope, we must empower them with the means to produce their own food. With this we want to structurally strengthen their livelihoods and boost their resilience,” explains Tissot, FAO Representative.

During the forthcoming dry season campaign, FAO aims to target 1.2 million people with distributions of vegetable and fishing kits and provision of trainings to farmers on modern farming techniques to increase yields. At the same time, FAO is preparing to meet the country’s greatest needs for the main planting season; this includes the provision of much needed agricultural inputs so that the most vulnerable can produce their own food. For this to happen, the food agency requires US $ 28 million by the end of the year.

FAO’s Situation Report on South Sudan (24.10.2016)

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FAO Emergencies Director assesses the Scale of the Drought and Response in Afar Region, Ethiopia (13.10.2016)

afar

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 13, 2016 – In less than a year, Holo Molo has lost more than a third of his livestock. The father of 14 living in the chronically drought-prone woreda of Elidar, Afar Region is just one of millions of Ethiopian livestock owners who have had their livelihoods uprooted as a result of drought aggravated by El Niño. Despite the significant damage caused by the crisis, Holo contends that he is lucky. “I know a woman who has lost everything, all her animals are dead.”

Since 2015, thousands of households have helplessly watched their animals starve in Afar, an arid region in northwest Ethiopia neighboring Eritrea and Djibouti. The drought caused severe pasture and water shortages in communities almost totally dependent on livestock rearing – ninety percent of the population tend animals for their food and income.

Believed to be the worst drought in nearly half a century, it will take years for families hardest hit by the El Niño-induced crisis to recover. The impact on food and nutrition security has been significant; the vast majority of the region’s districts have been classified as priority one or facing the greatest levels of food insecurity according to the Government of Ethiopia.

In Elidar, the critical karan rains – usually occurring between July and September – were considered late and erratic. The contribution of the previous spring season was minor, only slightly improving pasture and water access between the months of March and May. Already, Elidar’s limited pasture has largely been depleted. Many herding households now depend on infrequent flash floods that send water tumbling from the mountains to be used domestically and for livestock.

The thickets of the mountains are also where many of Elidar’s citizens send their animals to search for feed. FAO spoke with Mutha Ahmed as she tended small ruminants on the banks of a water point constructed by the UN agency in the drought prone community. The mother of five lost 50 sheep and goats during the crisis. “Almost everything has dried up, there is nothing here for animals to eat,” Mutha reflected. “We have not had good rains in years, many people are now scared because the karan season has been poor and it has not fully rained,” said Mutha. With the worst of the lean season approaching in mid-October and November, Afar’s animals should be thriving ahead of the most difficult time of the year. Complicating matters is the fact that milk – critical for the food and nutrition security of most in the Region – has been slow to return to normal production levels, a consequence of prolonged drought.

Dwindling resources in an underfunded sector

FAO is committed to partnering with local authorities and communities like in Elidar and elsewhere in Ethiopia

Despite losing a significant portion of her livestock, Mutha indicated that she did not qualify for emergency animal feed support, a claim supported by regional officials on the ground. “I lost animals, but so many more were worse off than me. I can understand why I was not given anything for my herd,” she said. As a result of limited resources in this particular area, priority was given to households with lactating animals or breastfeeding infants in order to safeguard the food and nutrition security of the most vulnerable.

The emergency livestock response is severely underfunded in Ethiopia. Almost 2.4 million households critically require livelihoods assistance to the tune of USD 36.2 million until the end of the year. Preliminary reports suggest that the sector has only received USD 12 million in humanitarian sector funding for 2015 and 2016 emergency drought interventions. With the crop sector demanding very significant  resources, particularly to procure seeds for the meher (summer) season (from which 85 percent of Ethiopia’s food supply is derived), the bulk of agriculture-related humanitarian investments were funneled into saving the country’s local crop production.

In August 2016, FAO clarified the priorities of Ethiopia’s livestock sector, highlighting the most urgent funding needed to support emergency interventions. These include animal health and emergency vaccinations for livestock, determined as critical in livestock-dependent regions such as Afar and Somali as well as Borena Zone of Oromia Region and South Omo Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region. The findings were published in the Mid-Year Review of the 2016 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD).

FAO’s Director of the Emergencies, Dominique Burgeon, met with numerous drought-affected households in Elidar and other communities in Afar Region during a recent field mission to Ethiopia. Mr Burgeon was also accompanied by FAO Representative to Ethiopia, Amadou Allahoury, and members of his team. The group spoke with beneficiaries of FAO’s fodder seed distribution and assessed the livestock situation in some of the worst-affected priority-one hotspot districts in the Region. The team also viewed local interventions to cope with drought, such as traditional water steam harvesting.

“The situation on the ground remains very critical in Afar and other livestock-dependent areas of the country. While significant resources have been deployed for crop sector support over the last several months, we cannot neglect to fully address the pressing needs of the livestock sector,” said Mr Burgeon.

“The people of Afar have developed numerous innovations in order to cope with the effects of recurrent drought, a reflection of their inherent resilience as a people,” he remarked. “FAO is committed to partnering with local authorities and communities like in Elidar and elsewhere in Ethiopia, in order to jointly amplify our efforts in the difficult months ahead with a strategic focus on recovery and resilience building.”

FAO Ethiopia provided fast-growing fodder seed to at-risk agropastoral communities in order to enable households to produce animal feed independently. During the drought, the Organization also distributed multinutrient-dense ‘energy blocks’ to protect core breeding animals, and delivered animal feed along migratory routes. FAO’s regional water rehabilitation projects improved access to water for livestock, benefiting more than 125 000 livestock owned by about 13 000 households. The Organization also supported strategic destocking through the purchase of thousands of livestock with low body weight which after a health inspection, was distributed to some of the worst-affected internally displaced people.

FAO has mobilized nearly USD 14 million to respond to the crisis. The Organization is now urgently requesting an additional USD 14 million to implement livelihood-saving interventions in the livestock and crop sectors until the end of 2016.

Somalia: Some 1.1 million people are unable to meet their daily food requirements (07.10.2016)

Somalia Draught Quotes

Five million Somalis – more than 40 per cent of the country’s population – are food insecure, up by 300,000 from February 2016, according to the latest assessment by the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET). Among them are 300,000 children under age 5 who are acutely malnourished and over 50,000 severely malnourished children.

The assessment indicates that the food and nutrition situation is not showing signs of abating. More than 1.1 million Somalis are unable to meet their daily food requirements, while another 3.9 million require livelihood support. An estimated 1.1 million internally displaced persons are among the most vulnerable groups. Nearly 58 per cent of acutely food insecure people are internally displaced people.

Poor Gu (April to June) rains, floods and trade disruption, coupled with displacements, contributed to a worsening of the food security situation. The 2016 Gu rains started late and ended earlier than usual in most regions. The flooding that affected riverine livelihoods and adjacent urban areas in parts of southern and central Somalia (Hiraan, Juba and Jowhar District of Middle Shabelle) during the Gu season, exacerbated the deterioration of food security in these areas, according to the FSNAU.

Efforts to reduce levels of vulnerabilities continue to be undermined by irregular weather patterns. However, cereal production has been good in some parts of Somaliland, particularly the western regions which has brought relief in crop growing areas that were affected by drought. Drought conditions continue in pastoral areas of Somaliland and Puntland. Poor rainfall in southern and central Somalia, the breadbasket of the country, has led to a reduction in cereal production by nearly half, compared to the long-term average, according to the FSNAU. Conflict and access constraints, including increased refugee returns have also compounded the situation in Somalia. Humanitarian partners continue to deliver assistance to save lives and strengthen resilience of Somalis.

Authorities appeal for urgent assistance for drought-affected people

Authorities in Lower Juba on 28 September appealed for urgent humanitarian intervention in areas near Afmadow, Badhadhe and Kismayo districts. These areas have limited humanitarian presence and have experienced poor Gu rains. Water and food were among priority needs highlighted by authorities. And in Puntland, authorities on 5 October declared a drought emergency and appealed for urgent humanitarian assistance due to worsening drought conditions.

Press release by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

South Sudan: UNICEF sounds alarm on ‘catastrophic’ food insecurity in country (06.08.2016)

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5 August 2016 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today that it is responding to a growing food security emergency causing malnutrition in children in both rural and urban areas of crisis-gripped South Sudan.

“The situation in South Sudan is catastrophic, and even more so for children,” UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told a news briefing in Geneva, where he also pointed out that so far this year, the agency has treated 120,000 children under age five for severe malnutrition; a nearly 50 per cent increase over the same period in 2015.

Initially, UNICEF had been planning to provide support to 166,000 children in 2016, but that figure has been revised to more than 250,000, he added.

Seven out of the country’s 10 states have reached the malnutrition-rate-emergency threshold of 15 per cent, while in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the malnutrition rate stands at 33 per cent, he explained.

UNICEF has also noted a sharp rise in malnutrition in South Sudan’s urban areas, including the capital, Juba, where the rates of children admitted for malnutrition to UNICEF-supported Al-Sabbah children’s hospitals were some 20 per cent higher in the first six months of 2016 than for the same period last year. The spokesperson cited the country’s inflation rate as one of the main reasons for the high increase, explaining that it made basic household staples too expensive for many families.

Mr. Boulierac stated that while UNICEF could not provide figures of children dying from starvation, “one quarter of a million children in South Sudan are facing severe malnutrition.”

According to the spokesperson, with a number of roads inaccessible, the ongoing conflict has further limited UNICEF’s ability to respond – leaving, in the most urgent cases, the more expensive option of air transport for delivering supplies.

Additionally, Mr. Boulierac stressed that “due to insecurity and the rainy season, UNICEF staff in South Sudan are unable to be fully mobile and deliver their goods and services.”

Mr. Boulierac said that of the $154.5 million UNICEF needs for South Sudan in 2016, the Fund had, to date, received only $52 million to assist with water and sanitation; child support services; nutrition; health; and education.

He indicated that more than 900,000 children have been displaced in the country, which – with 1.8 million children, or 51 per cent of school-age youngsters out of school – also had the highest proportion of out-of-school children in the world.

“An estimated 16,000 children had been recruited by armed groups, and there were concerns that the renewed violence would lead to a further expansion of that practice,” explained the spokesperson.

He also called attention to the fact that sexual violence and rape had been used as a weapon of war, saying “all the ingredients were there to be extremely concerned.”

Between 8 and 25 July, at least 72 civilian deaths and 217 cases of sexual violence had been documented in Juba alone.

The spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), William Spindler, added that the total number of South Sudanese refugees in the region stood at 917,418 – most of whom are sheltering in Uganda.

The recent fighting in South Sudan between rival forces – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir and the SPLA in Opposition backing First Vice-President Riek Machar – erupted in and around Juba, on 7 July, close to the fifth anniversary of its independence.

The young country has faced ongoing challenges since a political face-off between the two leaders erupted into conflict in December 2013. The crisis has produced one of the world’s worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.

Press Statement: Unprecedented level of food insecurity in South Sudan, UN agencies warn (29.06.2016)

South Sudan Food Crisis

More than a third of the population in urgent need of food, agriculture and nutrition assistance amid risk of catastrophe in some parts of the country.

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 29, 2016Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan – well over one-third of the population – will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country, three UN agencies warned today.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) stressed that while the deteriorating situation coincides with an unusually long and harsh annual lean season, when families have depleted their food stocks and new harvests are not expected until August, the level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, the three agencies and other humanitarian partners, 4.8 million people are projected to be in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance through July, up from 4.3 million in April. This is the highest level of hunger since the conflict in South Sudan began two-and-a-half years ago. This number does not include 350,000 residents of the UN Protection of Civilians areas or other camps for displaced people, who currently are entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance.

“We are very worried to see that food insecurity is spreading beyond conflict areas as rising prices, impassable roads and dysfunctional markets are preventing many families, even those in towns and cities, from accessing food,” said FAO Country Representative Serge Tissot.

Food insecurity and conflict are also forcing many families to leave South Sudan for neighbouring countries. In the last few months alone, an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese people have crossed into Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and this number is expected to increase to more than 150,000 by the end of June.

“The levels of malnutrition among children continue to be truly alarming,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “Since the beginning of the year more than

100,000 children have been treated for severe malnutrition. That’s a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and a 150 percent increase since 2014.”

Working with a large number of international and local non-governmental organizations, FAO, UNICEF and WFP will continue to deliver life- and livelihood- saving support under these difficult circumstances.

“We are now seeing sharp spikes of need in new areas, such as Eastern Equatoria or Western Bahr el-Ghazal, where malnutrition rates in some places are reaching dangerous levels. We have started ramping up food and nutrition support, but much more is needed to keep things from deteriorating even further during the lean season,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma.

In 2016, FAO is planning to provide emergency livelihood support to 3.1 million people in South Sudan. It is currently distributing over half a million crop and fishing kits and is assisting livestock production through the vaccination of some 11 million animals.

The dramatic rise in malnutrition rates, means that in the first four months of the year UNICEF has already treated 45 per cent of its planned 2016 caseload of 166,000 children.

WFP plans to assist  3.3 million people in South Sudan this year through a combination of emergency food assistance, lifesaving nutrition support for mothers and young children, community-based asset-creation projects where possible, and safety net programmes such as school meals.

UNHCR and FAO help vulnerable refugees and South Sudanese families strengthen their food security (02.06.2016)

05-14-fao-south-sudan

ROME, Italy, June 2, 2016The UN Refugee Agency and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have distributed seeds and agricultural tools to 200,000 refugees and their host communities across South Sudan to help them become more self-sufficient in a country facing a serious food crisis.

Assessments have shown that the food and nutrition security situation is worrying in many parts of the country, including in Upper Nile – a region hosting four refugee camps and South Sudan’s largest refugee population of 134,000 Sudanese refugees. A nutrition survey, conducted in late 2015, found that Upper Nile’s Maban refugee camps registered higher levels of malnutrition compared to 2014. This was particularly the case in Doro camp, where the rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) were respectively 15.5 percent and 2.6 percent – above UNHCR standards of 10 percent and 2 percent.

“To quickly respond to high malnutrition rates we are distributing nutritious food for children under five years and all pregnant and breast feeding mothers. We are pleased to announce that these interventions are working well, but we are also looking beyond quick-fix solutions that help refugees become more self-reliant and less dependent on humanitarian assistance in the long run. This is the essence of the UNHCR-FAO partnership,” says Ahmed Warsame, UNHCR Representative.

This year, the two UN agencies have jointly contributed 186 tons of crop seeds, assorted vegetable seeds, hand tools and fishing kits for refugees and local communities in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria. This donation will enable communities to start planting their cereals and replenish their stocks, in so decreasing food shortages.

“People here lack the resources to buy the things they need to start planting and need support to be able to produce their own food. These distributions have been very timely since the planting season has just started,” says Serge Tissot, FAO Representative. “It is vital to strengthen the livelihoods of vulnerable communities in the long-term so that they can become more resilient, absorbing shocks and increasing their access to food through their own means.”

While many have received assistance through direct distributions in the past, in 2016 refugees in Central Equatoria were invited to attend seed fairs for the first time. With this FAO, in partnership with UNHCR, strives to help transform agriculture in South Sudan by facilitating the sale of high quality local seeds instead of imported seeds. At the fair, vulnerable farmers were issued with vouchers to be exchanged with local traders for seeds which directly injected cash into the local economy.

“Without seed distributions we cannot survive. Not all of us are able to maintain seeds for next year, some people do, but because of a lack of food, sometimes we are forced to eat the seeds maintained for planting,” Michelle, Sudanese refugee from Blue Nile State. “We hope for peace so that we can return home, where we can be free,” she added.

FAO and UNHCR are committed towards increasing refugees’ access to livelihood opportunities and reducing dependency on humanitarian aid. Of late, a joint livelihood strategy for South Sudan was launched looking to address this issue with a clearly defined action plan. The strategy targets both refugees (70 percent) and local communities (30 percent) in refugee-hosting areas across the country.

UN To Build The Resilience Of Communities In Karamoja (05.02.2016)

FAO Uganda Information Bulletin January 2014

FAO, UNICEF and WFP launch joint resilience strategy to improve well-being of Karimojong

KAMPALA Three United Nations agencies in Uganda are implementing a new multi-year resilience strategy to help transform the lives of vulnerable people in the Karamoja region of North Eastern Uganda.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are combining their efforts to empower households and communities and to strengthen government capacities. Together, they will work to enable the people of Karamoja to recover, reorganize themselves and move forward after experiencing external stresses and disturbances, including droughts or floods.

The Joint Resilience Strategy for Karamoja Region will focus on four areas: diversifying livelihood strategies and intensifying production in order to increase household income and improve food security; improving basic social services to strengthen vulnerable households’ human capital; establishing predictable safety nets; and strengthening disaster risk management support.

The FAO Country Representative, Mr. Alhaji Jallow, said, “This is an extremely significant development. It is a commitment to collaboration, efficiency and demonstration of results in Karamoja.”  Working collectively, he said, the agencies will multiply the impact of their work, reduce transaction costs for communities and the government, and allow individual organizations to more powerfully use their experience in strengthening service delivery systems.

Karamoja is vulnerable to multiple stresses and shocks, including climatic, economic, conflict and health-related challenges. According to the regional Resilience Analysis Unit, the main shocks and stresses for Karamoja include erratic and uneven rainfall, livestock disease outbreaks, crop pests, high food prices, food insecurity, livestock losses, inadequate access to education and health services, and inadequate access to water and sanitation.

The Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Aida Girma, said, “This collaboration will strengthen basic services for children and women that will increase their resilience to shocks and help to keep them alive, healthy, in school and protected.” She also said that building household resilience cannot be sustained unless the overall system to deliver the services is strengthened.

The acting WFP Country Director, Mr Michael Dunford, said, “While Karamoja continues to face significant socio-economic challenges, partly due to climate change, opportunities for development have never been more ripe. With increased security, reduced poverty levels and a renewed commitment by the government, partners can achieve more through enhanced collaboration.”

Each of the three agencies has more than 20 years’ experience working with communities in Karamoja. Together, they represent 90 percent of the United Nations’ activities in the region.

About FAO

FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.orgor follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org or follow UNICEF on Facebook and Twitter.

About WFP

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries. Follow WFP on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_africa

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