FAO seeks aid for South Sudanese returnees

Children returning to South Sudan look through the window of a bus. Photo by: Arsenie Coseac / CC BY-ND

Thousands of people are expected to return to South Sudan in coming months and the Food and Agriculture Organization is appealing for additional funds to help support them.

Some 700,000 South Sudanese are currently living in Sudan but their right to stay there expires this April and agreements to regularize their residency have been postponed due to ongoing conflict. At least 120,000 have expressed their intention to return to South Sudan and thousands more are expected to follow.

FAO said its funds are insufficient to provide agriculture support to the expected returnees, who most likely do not have access to land or would not have enough time to plant and harvest during South Sudan’s current planting season.

FAO said it needs at least $18 million to roll out innovative interventions to take advantage of South Sudan’s second planting season later this year. The agency is proposing solutions such as vegetable gardening, seeds and tools distribution, fishing gear distribution, and cash-for-work schemes, among others.

In addition, FAO is pressing donors to adequately respond to its $23 million funding request for South Sudan this year. Only $5 million of this appeal has so far been furnished, FAO said.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.