FAO, IFAD and WFP leaders warn of worsening crisis in South Sudan


Juba/South Sudan, August 1, 2023 - The heads of three Rome-based UN agencies visited South Sudan during a three-day trip as the country grapples with the effects of severe storms that, along with a lack of infrastructure, are exacerbating the country's humanitarian crisis.

From right to left: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain IFAD President and Alvaro Lario pose for a photo.
From right to left: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain IFAD President and Alvaro Lario pose for a photo.© FAO/IFAD/WFP/Eduardo Soteras
FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, IFAD President Alvaro Lario and WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain jointly warned that given the complex food, climate, and insecurity crises in South Sudan, delayed intervention would mean the loss of lives, livelihoods, and future prospects for millions of people in the young country.

Collaboration between the three UN agencies, as well as with the government of South Sudan and other partners, has helped avert famine in recent years and enabled farmers to increase their food production and income.

However, scaled-up and sustained action is needed to respond to the ongoing hunger crisis, avoid further setbacks, and mitigate future crises.

he three organizations signed a new five-year partnership agreement to renew collaboration and deepen their cooperation and coordination at the global, regional and national levels to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2 - Zero Hunger.

The joint efforts of the three organizations range from humanitarian responses to emergencies and shocks to resilience and development activities.

The agreement provides for the three Rome-based organizations to operate in the following areas:

  • agrifood systems transformation,
  • nutrition,
  • gender equality and women’s empowerment,
  • resilience-building,
  • youth,
  • climate change.

Background Information

FAO brings a wealth of technical expertise and best practices to food production in drought areas, while IFAD invests in smallholder farmers and boosts rural economies, and WFP simultaneously provides emergency assistance in crisis areas and works with local communities to equip them for potential crises and improve their human capital.

The trip came at a time when the United Nations' joint report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2023 (SOFI) projects that the number of chronically undernourished people has increased by 122 million as of 2019.
Just days earlier, world leaders had gathered in Rome for the UNFSS+2 Summit to take stock of progress in creating more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems.

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