Africa > East Africa > South Sudan > FAO has scaled up its emergency response operations in South Sudan

South Sudan: FAO has scaled up its emergency response operations in South Sudan

2014/06/09

As the rainy season begins in South Sudan, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has scaled up its emergency response operations with large-scale airdrops to provide remote communities with livelihood kits that will allow them to plant crops, fish waterways and protect livestock from fatal diseases.

The agency said on Friday that despite problems of access and insecurity in parts of the country, it has extended its emergency response for an additional three months to reach conflict-affected farmers, fishers and herders with the tools they need.

It stated: 'Along with targeting conflict-affected communities with large-scale distributions by truck, FAO successfully flew 21 tonnes of crop seeds to Pibor in Jonglei national in partnership with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).'

Subsequently, it said that FAO undertook an emergency airdrop with the support of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) logistics capacity, dropping packages from a plane to a partner on the ground who again distributed the seed to farmers.

'Although used only as a last resort due to their high cost, airdrops guarantee that farmers in the majority inaccessible areas receive support, enabling them to grow their own food and making the operation cost-efficient in the long run.

'Three tonnes of crop seeds were successfully air-dropped in Mayendit county in Unity National, and will enable 250 households to produce over 200 tonnes of crops inclunding maize, sorghum, cowpea and sesame,' the statement noted.

It quoted Ms. Sue Lautze, the agency’s Chief of Office in South Sudan and the UN’s Deputy
Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, as saying: 'FAO is doing everything it can to assist the highly vulnerable people of South Sudan, inclunding innovations in the delivery of seeds through airdrops.'

She said: 'Portability and flexibility are our watchwords right presently. FAO is grateful to WFP and the donors who facilitated these initial airdrops. We will continue to integrate this logistic option as part of the FAO-WFP-UNICEF rapid response partnership.'

The statement as well said that since the crisis began, additional than 110,000 emergency livelihood kits have been distributed, inclunding crop seeds, fishing kits, vegetable seeds and livestock health kits.

It noted that with US$42 million in funding received to date, FAO is supporting 1.3 million people.

'However, additional funding is urgently needed to reach out to vulnerable rural communities in the worst-hit areas while building resilience throughout the country and to prevent a further worsening of food insecurity,' the agency added.

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