FAO pledges 10 million aid to Sudanese affected by conflict

FAO pledges 10 million aid to Sudanese affected by conflict FAO pledges 10 million aid to Sudanese affected by conflict
FAO pledges 10 million aid to Sudanese affected by conflict

In a bid to address the growing threat of food insecurity in Sudan, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has unveiled a comprehensive plan to provide aid to at least 10 million Sudanese farmers, herders, and fishermen.

The 12-month program aims to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the ongoing armed conflict in the country by enhancing food production and ensuring the availability of basic necessities.

FAO pledges 10 million aid to Sudanese affected by conflict
FAO pledges 10 million aid to Sudanese affected by conflict

With recent seed distribution efforts as a starting point, the FAO seeks to bolster food production and distribution in Sudan to feed an estimated 13 to 19 million people in the coming months. The organisation recognizes the crucial role that agriculture plays in the country and aims to mitigate the impact of the conflict on vulnerable individuals and communities.

The Emergency Livelihood Response Plan has been specifically designed to combat hunger and poverty, focusing on addressing the immediate needs of the population while simultaneously building resilience and ensuring long-term food security.

Abdulhakim Elwaer, the FAO regional representative for the Near East and North Africa, emphasises the importance of the ELRP in facilitating Sudan’s recovery. He states, “The ELRP aims to mitigate the impact of the recent conflict on vulnerable people, address their immediate needs, and enhance their ability to recover and strengthen their resilience, besides achieving food security at its minimum level for the overall population. Agriculture remains a lifeline in Sudan.”

Sudan has been embroiled in a violent conflict since April, initially sparked by a power struggle between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces. This protracted conflict has had devastating consequences, resulting in a significant loss of life, the displacement of millions, and causing countless others to flee their homes in search of basic necessities such as food, medicine, and shelter.

Mohamed Abdulrahman, a farmer residing in Sudan’s Upper Nile State, expressed cautious optimism about the assistance provided by the FAO. With the implementation of the ELRP, he believes that not only will his own livelihood improve, but the lives of countless others will be positively impacted as well. This sentiment resonates with many Sudanese people who are desperately in need of support.

He stated that this initiative has the potential to inspire and motivate individuals to actively seek and organise themselves to obtain such assistance. However, the requirements are demanding. The Sudanese people are in dire need of aid from the international community due to the absence of their government.

During Sudan’s dry season, which spans from November to May, farmers who rely on rainfall face food shortages, while livestock owners experience water and pasture shortages, jeopardising their livelihoods. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase projections released last month, over 20.3 million Sudanese are food insecure, with six million experiencing emergency levels of acute hunger.

Abdulrahman emphasised that Sudanese farmers require more than just seeds to produce food. They need financial resources to prepare and carry out other agricultural activities.

FAO plans to provide support to vulnerable farming and herding households through cash assistance and livelihood input packages, including seeds and agricultural, animal, and fishing tools. Elwaer believes that the successful implementation of their plan could prevent a humanitarian crisis and famine in Sudan.

The FAO does not directly supply food to individuals but provides seeds and agricultural inputs to farmers who are food producers for thousands of people. By reaching out to 1.5 million farmers in Sudan across 14 states, the FAO aims to provide food supplies, mainly vegetables and fruits, and seeds such as corn and wheat, for the large population of Sudan by the next harvest season, mitigating the situation and crisis to a significant extent.

The agricultural agency requires $123 million to achieve its objectives, with the program expected to conclude in August 2024.

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