WASHINGTON, June 8, 2021– South Sudan will benefit from two new projects totaling $ 116 million that aim to build the capacity of farmers, improve agricultural production and restore livelihoods and food security. South Sudan faces increasing levels of food insecurity despite increased production, with exceptionally high food prices limiting access to food for large segments of the population and locusts devouring crops. It is predicted that 7.2 million people will face acute food insecurity in the coming months, which is the highest number since independence.
The South Sudan Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Project (RALP) is providing a grant of $ 62.5 million that will support investments in training farmers to help them manage their organizations effectively, adopt new technologies and to use climate-smart farming practices to increase their yields. It will also invest in the tools, machinery and seeds needed to improve productivity.
The Desert Locust Emergency Response Project (ELRP), which consists of a grant of $ 53.7 million, will strengthen South Sudan’s response to Desert Locusts by restoring the livelihoods of the poorest and improving the livelihoods of the poor. strengthening the country’s preparedness systems. The project will provide direct income to the most vulnerable households to enable them to produce more food for themselves and local markets, as well as to use labor-intensive public works to provide job opportunities. income while promoting the restoration of pastures and farming systems.
“These two timely projects offer a combination of investments in social protection and agriculture to tackle the drivers of acute and chronic food insecurity. The implementation modality supports a broader institutional capacity building program of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, and we look forward to working closely with the government and other development partners to ensure that no one suffers from hunger., ” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan.
The two grants will be the first World Bank-funded projects since 2018 to be implemented through government systems, in particular the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. Funding for these projects includes $ 50 million from the IDA19 Crisis Response Window Rapid Response Funding Mechanism.
The ELRP includes two grants: a $ 50.7 million grant to South Sudan and a separate $ 3 million grant to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which will establish a regional coordination platform that provide, inter alia, support to IGAD Member States, including countries in the South. Sudan, to develop their own national preparedness plans and create a regional preparedness plan against the Desert Locust and other transboundary pests. The platform will also help to circulate information to and between its member states on cross-border threats and responses.
“Desert locusts know no borders, so this crisis requires a coordinated regional response,” said Deborah Wetzel, World Bank Regional Integration Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa. “It is essential that each affected country takes urgent action to control the growth of the locust population and shares information and lessons learned to enable a rapid and effective response,” she added. This is the third phase of the regional emergency locust response program, which has already provided funding to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia.
The two complementary projects provide a continuum of support ranging from stabilizing household food security through safety nets to investing in organizations, capacities and technology to steer South Sudan’s agricultural sector towards a development orientation. The ELRP and RALP projects will be implemented in close coordination and collaboration with other World Bank-funded projects in South Sudan, such as the ongoing South Sudan Safety Net Project and the Strengthening of Security Project. community resilience and local governance in South Sudan. They will also prioritize working closely with donors to coordinate implementation across the country and join a broader reform agenda to shift South Sudan from humanitarian assistance to a focus of development.
* The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and loans at low-to-zero interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor. IDA is one of the most important sources of assistance for the 76 poorest countries in the world, including 39 in Africa. IDA’s resources help make positive changes in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in countries eligible for assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are steadily increasing and have averaged $ 21 billion over the past three years, of which around 61% goes to Africa.