Improvement of the nutrition situation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Title: Regional transitional aid programme for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of South Sudan
Lead executing agencies: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Ministère de l‘Agriculture et de Développement Rural, MADR) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Overall term: 2016 to 2019
In Tanganyika Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, armed groups are active and threaten the general security situation of the civilian population. Half of all households are affected by severe food insecurity. In the Republic of South Sudan, too, the lives of the population have seriously deteriorated due to armed conflicts. In January 2018, six million people – which is more than half of the population – did not have enough to eat. Neither national nor local governments are in a position to respond appropriately. The entire task of providing the population with emergency aid and structure-building measures falls to international donors and implementing organisations.
Local self-help groups, which are partly supported by state institutions, are improving the food situation at household level. The situation of women of reproductive age in particular has improved.
The project aims to improve food security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in South Sudan. To this end, it is promoting agricultural production, putting it on a broader footing and reinforcing marketing measures. Efforts are being made to make more food available and also to facilitate access to food. Thanks to nutrition advice and training courses, food preparation skills at household level are improving. The training courses are especially aimed at women, as they are usually the ones responsible for preparing meals in the region. The project promotes the self-help capacities of the population and civil society. It is strengthening the abilities of selected decentralised state and technical services in the provinces, districts and communities. In both countries, the project is operating independently of the government and in close cooperation with the population. Its focus is on improving social cohesion overall and the situation of particularly severely affected population groups. This includes women, internally displaced persons and returnees. In the process, the project is getting the population involved, while at the same time taking de-escalation measures. In South Sudan, the project is working in cooperation with the non-governmental organisations Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH), Johanniter International Assistance and Vétérinaires sans Frontières.
A total of 3,500 households have been able to improve their food situation in the project region of Tanganyika Province. For this purpose, Chinese cabbage and sweet potatoes with an orange-coloured peel have been introduced, which are rich in vitamin A.
Hygiene measures have been introduced. The local authority PRONANUT (Programme National de Nutrition) is being involved in the nutrition and hygiene measures. Training courses are being provided for its personnel. The 60 ‘femmes leader’ trained by the project have taught 2,931 women how to prepare nutritious meals and take important hygiene measures.
In Western Bar El Ghazal in South Sudan, 2,074 households have succeeded in increasing millet and peanut harvests by up to 84%. People now use quality seed and improved agricultural tools, they have received extensive training, and small-scale irrigation has been introduced for vegetable growing during the dry season. At the end of the intervention phase, 55% of the participating households had achieved food security. What’s more, the trained farmers have clearly transferred their new knowledge: At least five neighbours not included in the programme adopted the practices learned. Thirty-six trainers have been trained to hold nutrition and hygiene training courses. In turn, these trainers have taught 1,600 course participants about malnutrition and hygiene issues. With the support of local authorities, eight nutrition schools have been set up in communities. Thirty-four particularly well-qualified women have been trained to support the schools. A total of 22,839 people have been reached through hygiene and nutrition campaigns and through cooking demonstrations in marketplaces.