Food Insecurity still high in Uganda

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There are certain aspects of governance that is still weak in Uganda, as the Food Insecurity in major parts of the Republic is still high. The knowledge of the Famine and lacking food in big regions of the Cattle Corridor and Northern Uganda; the pastoral areas have been hit hard after the El Nino and the draught. This has left many small-farmers behind and left their crop to die on the fields. This as the lacking irrigation and building of proper wells has also stopped the constant use of water. Therefore what the Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has some words to say. Here are the important aspects of the findings of the Ministry and how the lacking levels of food is reported from him.

Falling Crop Levels:

“The Food Security Analysis done by MAAIF in collaboration with other stakeholders in July 2016 indicated that at national level, the country experienced an average crop loss of approximately 40% for pulses (beans, groundnuts, peas) and 80% for cereals (maize, millet, rice, sorghum) from the first season harvests. The most affected crop was maize”(Ssempijja, P2, 2017).

Food Crisis:

“Colleagues the latest Food Security situation (2nd November, 2016) that was a result of rigorous scientific analysis indicated that the most affected areas are the districts that lie in the cattle corridor, stretching from North Eastern up to South-Western Uganda. This information was later confirmed by the follow up of the National Food Security Awareness Campaign that was undertaken by Inter-ministerial teams led by Cabinet ministers and/or Ministers of State and coordinated by the Prime Minister in late November 2016. The sub regions of Karamoja, Teso, Lango, Acholi, Bukedi, West Nile, Parts of Busoga and most districts along the Cattle Corridor including lsingiro, Kiruhura, Rakai, Ssembabule witnessed massive crop failure, leading to little or no harvest. This has resulted into the food crisis we are experiencing” (Ssempijja, P: 3, 2017).

Market Price on Food on the rise:

Harvests of cereals, Matooke, bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and beans are on markets but the supply is low and the demand both domestically and regionally (Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Southern Sudan, DRC-Congo, Tanzania, and Central African Republic) is high. Market prices for all food commodities have increased” (Ssempijja, P: 3, 2017).

Current affected areas with mass food insecurity:

“The current estimates however, indicate that 25% of the population in lsingiro District are in an emergency phase of food insecurity; meaning they access half a meal or nothing at all in a day” (…) “65% of the population in Karomoja sub region are in a crisis phase of food insecurity; meaning they access one meal or half a meal in a day” (…) “35% of the population in the districts of Katakwi, Amuria, Kumi, Bukedia, parts of Serere and Kaberamaido are in the same phase with Karamoja sub region (Crisis); meaning they access one meal or half a meal in a day” (…) “50% of the people of Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo, Maracha, Arua, Zombo.Nebbi, Adjumani, Amuru, Nwoya, Gulu, Pader, Lamwo, Kitgum, Agago, Soroti, Ngora, Amolatar, Pallisa, Buteleja, Rakai, lsingiro and Tororo are in a stressed pahse of food insecurity; meaning they access one and half meals in a day” (…) “the total population that was in need of relief food, as of November, 2016 stood at about 1,300,000 people (the sub regions of Karamoja, Teso , Lango, Acholi, Bukedi, West Nile, Parts of Busoga, lsingiro, Bukomansimbi, and Kalungu)” (Ssempijja, P: 5, 2017).

Allocated funds to Food Security:

“Note the need to continue providing Food relief by the Ministry of Disaster preparedness costed at 52.65 billion to the affected families, this was already alluded to by the District Local governments during the recently concluded food security awareness campaigns” (…) “Note the need to re-allocate and frontload funds from the NAADS Secretariat/OWe equivalent to UGX 26.63 Billion to avail quick maturing food security planting materials such as: maize, beans, cow peas, cassava and banana suckers to rehabilitate destroyed plantations (especially to farmers in lsingiro district) in season one of 2017 as soon as the rains are established” (Ssempijja, P: 9, 2017).

The regions that are hit says a lot of the lacking resources and the government programs that are supposed to control, the worst hit areas are still in Isingiro and Karamoja regions. The other ones those are also hit, but not as bad in Katakwi, Amuria, Kumi, Bukedia, Serere and Kaberamaido. These shows the level of food insecurity, but the final number dropped from the Minister shows the amount of people who are need of food relief, they we’re 1,300,000 people. That is the people of the Republic. This is happening as the food prices are souring as the food insecurity is happening in the nations around Uganda. So they are not in a secure vacuum, the need of food relief around Uganda is also growing.

Therefore the draught and death of the pastoral farming is showing the lack of government support to crisis. Certainly there are needed allocations and institutions to bring the needed relief and also revive the agricultural use of water and also systems to secure the citizens. This is what the Ugandan Government is missing. To keep food stocks and secure that the citizens, the farmers are sufficiently harvesting and securing their fields for any sort of changes. Peace.

Reference:

Ssempijja, Vincent Bamulangaki – ‘Statement on the Food Security Situation in the Country’ (09.01.2017)

South Sudan: Extreme levels of Food Insecurity expected across South Sudan in 2017 (December 2016)

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With continued drought, Horn of Africa braces for another hunger season (20.12.2016)

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Agricultural support critical now to protect livestock, equip families to plant in rainy season.

ROME, Italy, December 20, 2016 – Countries in the Horn of Africa are likely to see a rise in hunger and further decline of local livelihoods in the coming months, as farming families struggle with the knock-on effects of multiple droughts that hit the region this year, FAO warned today. Growing numbers of refugees in East Africa, meanwhile, are expected to place even more burden on already strained food and nutrition security.

Currently, close to 12 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in need of food assistance, as families in the region face limited access to food and income, together with rising debt, low cereal and seed stocks, and low milk and meat production. Terms of trade are particularly bad for livestock farmers, as food prices are increasing at the same time that market prices for livestock are low.

Farmers in the region need urgent support to recover from consecutive lost harvests and to keep their breeding livestock healthy and productive at a time that pastures are the driest in years. Production outputs in the three countries are grim.

Rapid intervention

“We’re dealing with a cyclical phenomenon in the Horn of Africa,” said Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division. “But we also know from experience that timely support to farming families can significantly boost their ability to withstand the impacts of these droughts and soften the blow to their livelihoods,” he stressed.

For this reason, FAO has already begun disbursing emergency funds for rapid interventions in Kenya and Somalia.

The funds will support emergency feed and vaccinations for breeding and weak animals, repairs of water points, and seeds and tools to plant in the spring season. FAO is also working with local officials to bolster countries’ emergency preparedness across the region.

“Especially in those areas where we know natural hazards are recurring, working with the Government to further build-up their ability to mitigate future shocks is a smart intervention that can significantly reduce the need for humanitarian and food aid further down the line,” Burgeon said.

Kenya is highly likely to see another drought in early 2017, and with it a rise in food insecurity. Current estimates show some 1.3 million people are food insecure.

Based on the latest predictions, the impacts of the current drought in the southern part of the country will lessen by mid-2017, but counties in the North – in particular Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir and Mandera – will steadily get worse.

Families in these areas are heavily dependent on livestock. Now, with their livelihoods already stressed – the last reliable rain they received was in December 2015- they will get little relief from the October-December short rains, which typically mark a recovery period but once again fell short this season.

In the affected counties, the terms of trade have become increasingly unfavourable for livestock keepers, as prices of staple foods are rising, while a flood of weakened sheep, goats and cows onto local markets has brought down livestock prices.

To ensure livestock markets remain functional throughout the dry season in 2017, FAO, is training local officials in better managing livestock markets — in addition to providing feed, water and veterinary support.

After two poor rainy seasons this year, Somalia is in a countrywide state of drought emergency, ranging from moderate to extreme. As a result, the Gu cereal harvest – from April to June – was 50 percent below average, and prospects for the October-December Deyr season are very grim.

To make matters worse, the country’s driest season – the Jilaal that begins in January- is expected to be even harsher than usual, which means Somali famers are unlikely to get a break anytime soon.

All indications are that crop farmers are already facing a second consecutive season with poor harvest. Pastoralists, meanwhile, are struggling to provide food for both their families and livestock, as pasture and water for grazing their animals are becoming poorer and scarcer by the day – in the south, pasture availability is the lowest it has been in the past five years.

Some five million Somalis are food insecure through December 2016. This includes 1.1 million people in Crisis and Emergency conditions of food insecurity (Phases 3 and 4 on the five-tier IPC scale used by humanitarian agencies). This is a 20 percent increase in just six months.

The latest analysis forecasts that the number of people in Crisis and Emergency conditions of food insecurity may further rise by more than a quarter of a million people between February and May 2017. Similar conditions in 2011 have resulted in famine and loss of lives, and therefore early action is urgently needed to avoid a repeat.

FAO calls on resource partners to urgently scale up assistance in rural areas, in the form of cash relief, emergency livestock support and agricultural inputs to plant in the April Gu season.

If farmers cannot plant during Gu – which traditionally produces 60 percent of the country’s annual cereal output — they will be left without another major harvest until 2018.

Farming families in Ethiopia, meanwhile, are extremely vulnerable as they have not been able to recover from the 2015 El Nino-induced drought. Some 5.6 million people remain food insecure, while millions more depend on livestock herds that need to be protected and treated to improve milk and meat production. Here, too, better access to feed and water is critical.

The crop situation is relatively stable after the country completed the most widespread emergency seed distribution in Ethiopia’s history. FAO and more than 25 NGOs and agencies reached 1.5 million households with drought-resistant seeds.

As a result of enabling farming families to grow their own food, the government and humanitarian community saved close to $1 billion in emergency aid, underlining that investing in farmers is not only the right thing to do but also the most cost-efficient.

FAO’s Early Warning early action work

Somalia and Kenya are among the first countries benefiting from FAO’s new Early Warning Early Action Fund (EWEA). The fund ensures quick activation of emergency plans when there is a high likelihood of a disaster that would affect agriculture and people’s food and nutrition security.

The fund will be part of a larger Early Warning Early Action System that tracks climate data and earth imaging to determine what areas are at risk of an imminent shock and will benefit from early intervention.

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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East Africa: “Persistent conflict in the region continues to contribute to high levels of needs” (31.08.2016)

East-Africa

Persistent conflict in the region continues to contribute to high levels of needs

Key Messages

  • The resurgence of conflict in Juba in early July is likely to worsen already precarious food insecurity for many. Persistent conflict in South Sudan has disrupted livelihoods, access to humanitarian assistance and markets, particularly in Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Greater Upper Nile, leading to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes. It is expected some households in the north of Northern Bahr el Ghazal are already facing extreme food shortages and are in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).1
  • A major food security emergency is ongoing in Yemen, caused by conflict-related disruptions to household livelihoods. Across the western half of the country, households continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3 or 3!) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. Due to a rapidly evolving political and security situation, including the recent suspension of peace talks and the ongoing banking crisis, future food security outcomes are uncertain.
  • Continuing conflict and displacement have sustained high levels of displacement in the region. About 1.61 million people are displaced internally in South Sudan, and over 700,000 have crossed into Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya. An estimated 271,042 people are displaced from Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania. There are approximately 178,280 refugees from Yemen in Djibouti, Somalia and the Gulf States, with 2.4 million people displaced internally.
  • Large areas require emergency food assistance through September in Ethiopia. The 2015 El Niño-induced drought resulted in severe crop losses, massive livestock deaths, and eroded labor opportunities. While Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) is likely through September, the Meher harvest in October is expected to contribute to improving food availability. However, food insecurity could increase in southern and southeastern pastoral areas should the anticipated La Niña bring below-average precipitation in late 2017.
  • The high likelihood of a La Niña later in 2017 would be expected to bring below-average rainfall across the south of the Horn of Africa between October and December, limiting agricultural production and pastoral resource availability. Above-average staple food prices and reduced household food access could also be expected.

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.

Press Release: UN agencies concerned about limited funding to assist South Sudanese refugees in Sudan (25.04.2016)

WFP South Sudan 2016

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 25, 2016 –  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today expressed deep concern at funding shortfalls which could affect the assistance that is being provided to South Sudanese refugees in Sudan.

 “Our resources are being stretched at a time when needs are quickly growing,” said UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Mohammed Adar.  “Over 50,000 South Sudanese have crossed into Sudan since the beginning of 2016, surpassing the planning figure set for the entire year. Further shortfalls in funding will hamper our ability to continue providing assistance for the existing South Sudanese refugees in Sudan while also responding to the emergency needs of new arrivals.”  UNHCR humanitarian requirements for 2016 remain 18% funded, leaving over US$128 million in unmet needs.

The heads of UNICEF and WFP have voiced similar concerns about the limited resources available to respond to the basic needs of South Sudanese seeking refuge in Sudan, including access to clean water, shelter, emergency household supplies and adequate protection.  The situation is particularly worrisome as the agencies’ funding shortages coincide with a period of heightened food insecurity in part of South Sudan. This, in addition to the ongoing violence, is driving rapidly increasing numbers of South Sudanese into Sudan.

The UNICEF Sudan Representative, Geert Cappelaere, also warns that his organisation is running out of funding for the provision of critical support to more than 100,000 children from South Sudan in dire need of urgent humanitarian assistance. “With only 11% of the total humanitarian requirement funded so far in 2016 and an estimated US$105 million shortfall, UNICEF is gravely concerned it may have to cut back on crucial lifesaving water, sanitation, nutrition, health and protection assistance to those vulnerable children”, Cappelaere emphasised.

Echoing the concern of his UNICEF and UNHCR colleagues, WFP Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan said: “We are concerned that if we do not receive sufficient funding soon enough, we will not be able to respond to the needs of South Sudanese refugees who continue to flee their country to seek food and refuge.”

WFP is currently facing a 12-month funding shortfall of US$181 million of which US$19 million will be used to meet the needs of the South Sudanese refugees through its Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation.

UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP have banded together to appeal for additional funding that will be required to meet greater needs created by the rapidly increasing number of South Sudanese fleeing into Sudan.  

Conflict and food insecurity are forcing more and more South Sudanese to flee their country and cross into neighbouring countries.  A total of 678,000 South Sudanese refugees are now being hosted in the neighbouring countries with 221,000 in Sudan.

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