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EU, FAO wind up Food Security Programme in eastern Sudan

October 30 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Farmers in the Tokar delta in Red Sea state, June 2007 (UNEP)
Farmers in the Tokar delta in Red Sea state, June 2007 (UNEP)

The Sudanese government, together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the European Union (EU) Delegation in Sudan have presented the achievements from the EU funded Food Security Policy and Strategy Capacity Building Programme.

“This four-year programme is a successful example of FAO and EU collaboration with partner institutions in Sudan to build evidence-based policy responses to food security and nutrition issues in the country,” said Dr Abdi Jama, FAO Representative in Sudan.

“While the programme has done a lot to set up institutions for collection, analysis and availability of food security information in the four states, serious efforts are needed to extend it to other states, as well as to raise awareness about the importance of using data in decision making and policy drafting.

“We will keep on working to achieve this with the Government of Sudan and our international partners, benefiting from the momentum of these achievements until we ensure that food security is reaching everyone in Sudan.”

In a joint statement today, FAO and the EU Delegation explain that with more than 80 per cent of the labour force engaged in agriculture, and two thirds of the population living in rural areas, Sudan is highly vulnerable to climatic variability resulting in recurrent droughts and floods.

“Systems have been strengthened by the project and hence future responses to food insecurity in Red Sea, Kassala, El Gedaref, and Blue Nile states will be supported by robust evidence.”

The situation has recently been exacerbated by the effects of El Niño-driven changes in the rainfall pattern. This has contributed to reduced water and grazing land availability, as well as lower agricultural production increasing crisis-level food insecurity, especially in the eastern regions of the country.

The €8.6 million programme addressed these challenges. It was implemented by FAO with local authorities in Blue Nile, El Gedaref, Kassala and Red Sea states, the press statement reads.

“The four year intervention strengthened resilience in these four states through institutional set-up, establishment of a food security information system and capacity building.

“As a result, reliable food security and nutrition data are now collected at locality level and information is produced in a timely manner for evidence-based policy and strategy development. This in turn helps decision makers to prioritise their decisions and allocate resources to the most deprived population groups.”

According to Jannik Vaa, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Sudan remarked the programme “has achieved undeniable successes.

“Systems have been strengthened by the project and hence future responses to food insecurity in Red Sea, Kassala, El Gedaref, and Blue Nile states will be supported by robust evidence. To sustain the momentum, additional investment at State and Federal level is needed, so that the good work will come to fruition. The EU is ready to work with our partners to strengthen food security in Sudan and improve the livelihoods of the rural population.”


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