South Sudan: Resilience and Nutrition Security
In the province of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal in the north of South Sudan, more than three-quarters of the population is poverty stricken. The situation is made worse by repeated climatic disasters. Floods in low-lying areas along the main rivers, drought on the higher land and extreme weather events during the rainy season all has a very harmful effect on crops. These all represent serious threats for the local population which is dependent on agricultural production. To worsen matters, only 4% of the area is being farmed and the production is one of the lowest in the world.
From the very beginning of our operations here, People in Need has mainly concentrated on the field of agricultural. We have helped the successful socio-economic reintegration of returnees to society. We have also participated in ensuring food security and raising the resilience of local inhabitants exposed to repeated droughts and almost annual floods during the rainy seasons. By improving the agricultural and veterinary services, establishing community gardens for growing new kinds of crops or through support of minor livelihoods together with technical training, we have helped to increase the food production and the market capacity of poor households dependent on cattle farming and crop cultivation.
Resilient Agriculture for Improved Nutrition
Malnutrition is not only linked to lack of food. Our local team provided expert training on the topic of personal hygiene which helped to increase the number of people who have adopted correct hygiene habits by half. They are essential for instance for prevention of diarrheal illnesses which are one of the causes of malnutrition of children. Local women learnt to give their children more nutritious food and the number of women breastfeeding has risen by a quarter.
Another activity directed at increasing the resilience of the inhabitants in case of natural disasters was building flood defence systems. These can save lives, but also agricultural production which is their main source of livelihood.