13 October, 2011 – In response to acute food shortages in Jonglei State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a $54 million project at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry yesterday in the capital Bor.
State Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Mayen Ngor Atem said the Jonglei State Food Security Programme (JFSP) would have three objectives. It would increase resilience to shock by setting up disaster-alerting systems, increase agricultural productivity and production and increase income through market linkages.
"Jonglei State is one of the most food insecure states in South Sudan because of the ongoing conflict and extreme natural disasters -- that is, floods, drought and weak physical infrastructure," Mr. Atem said.
Governor of Jonglei State Kuol Manyang Juuk said the initiative would mitigate conflict among communities in the area.
"Our people are fighting, searching for food for survival," said Mr. Manyang. "When hunger is reduced and jobs created for youths, the issue of insecurity will consequently fade away. The vulnerable groups and the other youth who are causing insecurity will now be engaged in gainful socio-economic activities."
Funded by the US government, the programme will target about 150,000 chronically and transitorily food insecure households in eight of the 11 counties in Jonglei by 2014, said USAID Mission Director Kevin Mullally.
The three-year assistance programme would aim to increase food and livestock productivity and offer additional economic opportunities to youth in the region, Mr Mullally added.
USAID will be partnering with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries the Ministry of Roads and Physical Infrastructures, Catholic Relief Service, Save the Children and Joint Aid Management.