FAO Launches Emergency Plan to Combat Hunger in Sudan

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The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has launced an emergency response plan to provide essential support to communities grappling with the devastating effects of the conflict in Sudan.

Over the coming year, the agency said it will distribute seeds, livestock treatment kits and provide veterinary as well as fisheries support to boost crop production, improve seed diversification and protect animal stock from depleting.

The initiative is expected to meet the cereal requirements of up to 19 million people for the upcoming 2023 harvest, according to estimates availed by FAO.

“Millions of people across Sudan are facing a battle for survival as the food security crisis worsens”, said Hongjie Yang, FAO Representative in the Sudan.

“This emergency response plan aims to provide farming, herding and fishing families with the basics they need to keep production going and feed themselves and their communities,” he added.

More than 20 million people in Sudan experienced high levels of acute food insecurity between July and September, data from humanitarian agencies show.

This situation has been worsened following the outbreak of war in mid-April between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Nearly 5.1 million people have displaced within and across the country’s borders.

FAO plans to ensure vulnerable households receive high quality seeds of cowpea, groundnut, millet, okra and sorghum for the 2024 summer season; and chickpea, cucumber, pigeon pea, tomato and watermelon for the 2023 winter season.

Farmers, the agency said, will also be trained in best practices to enhance handling of post-harvest produce, including important by-products like manure.

Also underway, FAO further said, are plans to prioritize mass vaccination campaigns to protect six million sheep, goats and cattle against animal diseases.

The emergency response plan will deploy a combination of unconditional cash assistance and livelihood support, including seeds and tools, along with training, to reach the most vulnerable households, the food security agency stressed.

Meanwhile, FAO said it requires $123 million To fully implement the ambitious plan over the next 12 months and reach the targeted farmers, herders, and fishers in Sudan’s most food-insecure areas.

Source: Sudan Tribune