World Bank provides $113 million to boost food production in South Sudan

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The World Bank Group headquarters stands in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are holding their spring meetings via video conference for the first time ever this week because of the coronavirus pandemic. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Sudan on Thursday received a $113.2 million grant from the World Bank to support local farmers to boost production to mitigate food insecurity in the country.

FILE PHOTO: A scene in Abathok village during an International Committee of the Red Cross distribution of seeds, agricultural tools and food staples to households in villages around Agok, South Sudan. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)

Josephine Joseph Lagu, minister of Agriculture and Food Security, said the money under the Resilient and Livelihoods Project and Emergency Locust Response Project will boost the capacity of farmers to efficiently manage their farms and adopt new technology to improve their yields.

“The two projects were crafted to help increase agricultural production to restore rural livelihood and contribute to ending food and nutrition insecurity,” Lagu told journalists in Juba.

Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for South Sudan, said that the projects will provide direct income to the most vulnerable households to enable them to produce more food.

“South Sudanese deserve to be able to produce enough food, they deserve to be able to eat enough and they deserve to stock enough harvest,” Dione said.

He revealed that successful implementation of the projects will help restore hope and confidence to South Sudan’s development partners to avail more support to the country.

The recent Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said that the deficit in South Sudan’s cereal production is estimated at an all-time high of 465,600 metric tons in 2021.

The report said cereal production in 2020 rose by 7 percent on a yearly basis to around 874,400 metric tons in South Sudan.

The UN agencies estimate that 7.2 million people, about 60 percent of South Sudan’s population, are projected to face acute food shortage this year and about 1.4 million children under five years old are at risk of acute malnutrition.

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