IFAD launches 19,93 million-dollar resilience project in South Sudan

August 20 11:54 2021

Ms Bernadette Mukonyora-Dias, Country Director

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched a USD19,93 million South Sudan Livelihoods Resilience Project (SSLRP) at an event held in the country’s capital, Juba recently. The project represents IFAD’s re-engagement following the completion of the South Sudan Livelihoods Development (SSLDP) project in 2016. Central to the project is empowering communities to participate in decision-making processes aimed at improving agriculture livelihoods and build household resilience, thereby promoting stability in the country. In a virtual speech during the launch, South Sudan Country Director, MS Bernadette Mukonyora-Dias emphasised that IFAD is playing the key role of an “assembler of development resources”, partnering other donor organisations to mobilise more resources. “I would like to emphasise that the South Sudan Livelihoods and Resilience Project (SSLRP) is designed as an umbrella framework to mobilize partners and the Government to invest in the rural resilience and recovery agenda. With a seed investment of USD9.8 million from IFAD’s core resources, SSLRP has mobilized additional investment from the Dutch worth USD8 million for complementary investment in roads, and has leveraged about USD5.8 million complementary parallel investments with AFDBs/AMVAT project,” said Mukonyora-Dias. She added that this launch was happening in the face of multiple crises such as the Covid 19 Pandemic, a massive swarm of desert locust which decimated crops and pastures in East Africa further worsening the food insecurity situation in South Sudan which also faces flooding among other climate related threats. Speaking on the same occasion Minister of Agriculture & Food Security Josephine Lagu reiterated the importance of IFAD’s re-engagement which she said was important to the overall strategy of her ministry. “I have observed and commend the following aspects of the project, the element of empowerment and institutional capacity building for recovery and development from grassroots up to the National level; and also the inclusion of producer groups,” said Lagu. She also noted the incorporation of infrastructural development into the initiative as a foundation for recovery and development and the recognition of the importance of climate change and the environment in the present context of livelihoods, and also the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Elaborating on the role government is playing to build the country’s institutions and systems during the launch, South Sudan’s Finance and Planning Minister Athian Ding Athian said, “we have initiated public financial management (PFM) reforms to streamline economic management, increase transparency and accountability, and create more fiscal space to invest in the social sectors of our national budget. “Secondly, we have initiated a review of the national development strategy to help us reprioritise and respond to emerging challenges such as livelihoods and food insecurity. Economic diversification is emerging as a key priority in the NDS review process and will be critical to expanding the economy to ensure more economic opportunities for the people of South Sudan,” said Ding Athian. The launch was attended by a cross-section of stakeholders including those from the food sector, civil society and government.

By Chakanyuka Bosha (Bosha is currently engaged as a Knowledge Management and Media Consultant  for IFAD-South Sudan and Eritrea)

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