SOUTH SUDAN – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the South Sudan government have celebrated their 10th anniversary of cooperation, emphasizing the need to intensify efforts in improving food and nutrition security.

A commemorative event held in Juba City, South Sudan, witnessed the presence of diplomats, development partners, UN agencies, and government officials.

The occasion served as an opportunity for reflection, renewed commitments, and the signing of key agreements to guide future collaboration.

Cooperation between FAO and South Sudan predates the country’s independence, with a FAO office established in Juba in 2006. South Sudan officially joined as a Member State on June 16, 2013, marking a significant milestone in their partnership.

Hon. Onyeti Adigo Nyikech, the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, highlighted the persisting issue of food insecurity in South Sudan, with millions of citizens lacking access to adequate food.

He emphasized the potential of the livestock and fisheries sectors and stressed the importance of collaborative efforts between the government, FAO, private sectors, farmers, and development partners to transform and commercialize these sectors.

Abebe Haile Gabriel, the FAO Africa Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, emphasized the need for enhanced actions, partnerships, and institutional effectiveness to address food and agriculture challenges.

He stressed the significance of sustainable commercialization of agri-food sectors, which can drive economic growth, employment, and diversification of livelihoods. Gabriel also highlighted the pivotal role of women in agriculture for peacebuilding and social cohesion.

Signing of the Country Programming Framework

During the commemorative event, the new Country Programming Framework (CPF) for the period 2023-2025 was signed.

The document outlines the priority areas identified by the South Sudanese government to guide FAO’s partnership over the next three years. The CPF reflects the government’s priorities and aligns with FAO’s strategic goals, including improved production, nutrition, environment, and quality of life.

“The CPF heralds heightened partnership and collaboration between FAO and the government of South Sudan in the next three years, and aligns well with Government priorities as well as FAO’s strategic priorities including the Four Betters: Better production, Better nutrition, Better environment and Better life,” said FAO Representative Meshack Malo during the signing ceremony.

FAO has shifted its focus from emergency relief to building resilience for long-term food and agriculture sustainability.

To achieve food self-sufficiency, South Sudan must leverage its immense potential in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and other sectors. FAO’s presence in South Sudan includes 28 active programs implemented across the country, valued at $268 million.

The renewed partnership between FAO and the South Sudanese government will prioritize key strategic areas, including the development of policy frameworks for agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and food and nutrition security.

Efforts will be made to strengthen farmer and producer organizations, facilitate agribusiness development and market access, and enhance resilience in agri-food systems to cope with threats and crises.

For all the latest food safety news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.