South Sudan is one of the most fragile countries in the world. The Humanitarian needs remain high – higher above the available resources. According to the October 2022 to July 2023 IPC analysis, 7.76 million people (62.7%) were estimated to be facing severe acute food insecurity during the peak lean period of April-July 2023.
This slight improvement in food security I mentioned earlier is attributed to a number of factors but more importantly the improvement in access that has enabled farmers to carry on with their farming activities and allowed some to slowly return from the neighbouring countries. The importance of peace in achieving food security can’t be over-emphasized.
Norway’s total contribution for food security spans from 2014, totaling to over NOK 600 million Norwegian Kroner through FAO. The increased contribution for food security of NOK 80 million to South Sudan, will strengthen the resilience capacity of communities with the aim of being self-reliant for up to 7 months and provide support to refugees and returnees displaced by the conflict in the Sudan and the drought situation in Ethiopia to start their livelihood activities.
We continue to collaborate with other donors through the Natural Resource Sector Working Group (NRSWG) in finding solutions to reduce the vulnerabilities to food insecurity through a multi-sectoral approach, working closely with the government of South Sudan and charting solutions to food insecurity. We commend the joint partnerships with other agencies, especially FAO and WFP that have increased the resilience capacity of communities to be self-reliant. This is commendable.
We shall continue to advocate for sustainable management of available natural resources and increase our engagement in public and private investments and other channels with the potential to improve the food, nutrition, and income security of South Sudan.
We encourage the Government of South Sudan to prioritize peace and allocate more funding to food security in line with the Maputo and Malabo declarations. We should deliberately focus on empowering women and youths to attain better economic status through access and ownership of productive assets including security to land. As a long-term partner to South Sudan, we are committed to ensuring we see improvements in self-reliance.
Linken Nymann Berryman,
Royal Norwegian Ambassador, Juba.