Food security and agricultural development in South Sudan

Project description

Title: Food Security and Agricultural Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Sudan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Overall term: 2017 to 2019

Südsudan. Reihenuntersuchung zur Mangelernährung. © GIZ

Context

The food security situation in South Sudan has deteriorated continuously in recent years as a result of war and ongoing crises. For the first time since 2011, the United Nations has declared a state of famine in an African country.

Violent conflicts have been progressively destabilising the southern regions since 2016. As the main areas of agricultural production are in these regions, food security in the country has completely collapsed. According to estimates by international organisations, the number of people suffering from severe malnutrition was 5.5 million in 2017. This corresponds to 47 per cent of the total population. 

Objective

Food security has improved for the population affected by conflicts and malnutrition.

Approach

The project operates in two fields of activity that can be expanded, extended or reduced on a flexible basis, depending on the development of the situation on the ground. These are as follows: the direct improvement of the nutritional status of target groups; and the resumption and expansion of agricultural production. 

Field of activity 1 acts to improve the nutritional status of malnourished children and women. This relieves an acute emergency situation and eases the hunger crisis. Field of activity 2 is structured in such a way that farming families will produce (more) food again. In the medium term and after harvesting, these families can then stabilise food security and reduce dependency on food aid. If the situation on the ground so permits, the project supports families from areas where there is the potential for bigger harvests so that surpluses can once again be produced for the market in the medium to long term. 

The project raises awareness of nutrition, health and hygiene issues among parents and other persons responsible for looking after children. At a community level, the project supports community health workers and community mobilisers in developing their skills. They can then address health and nutrition issues in their communities and provide advice to families. At a local level, teams from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security are involved in the activities, thereby developing their skills in implementing state support measures for target groups.

The project strategy combines emergency aid, rehabilitation and development. Accordingly, the extent to which measures that are effective in the short term can be supplemented or replaced by measures that focus more strongly on reconstruction and development is continuously examined, depending on how the situation on the ground develops.

This strategy is based on the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s stated goal of direct implementation that is independent of government. The project also nurtures people’s ability to shape their own development in a sustainable manner and adapt it to changing framework conditions (capacity development).

As a result of direct implementation, the links to state structures in South Sudan are minimal. Consequently, the project cannot tap into an existing system of partners on the ground. 

The project cooperates with World Vision International, Welthungerhilfe, Solidarités International & Alliance for International Medical Action, Première Urgence Internationale, Action against Hunger and ACTED.