JUBA, SUDAN February 27, 2007— The Government of Southern Sudan signed a grant of US$7.67 million financed by the Multi Donor Trust Fund for Southern Sudan to support and supplement the first phase of a five years government’s project for revival of rural livelihoods based on animal and fish production. The Government of Southern Sudan is contributing US$8.89 million from its own resources for this first phase. The total project cost over five years is expected to be US$42.0 million.
“We are working in partnership with donors and the World Bank in support of development of Southern Sudan. We are investing resources to fund interventions that build capacity, improve service delivery and market infrastructure to enhance the livelihood of the people of Southern Sudan.” said Arthur Akuein Chol, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Government of Southern Sudan.
The bulk of the South Sudanese population depends on livestock herds and fishing to survive. But a heavy disease burden, low productivity, chronic droughts and insecurity diminish incomes massively. Inadequate marketing infrastructure, poor information flows among herders and traders further erode earnings. Many of these constraints derive from poor policies governing animal production, marketing, trade and veterinary public health. Moreover, the absence of reliable data on the livestock sector inhibits strong policy choices.
Fisheries also fall far short of their potential due to poor management, and an inadequate policy and legal framework to regulate production and trade. The sector is further constrained by poor or nonexistent roads, a dilapidated energy sector and limited access to markets.
By strengthening government capacity to set policies that support these two critical sectors, the MDTF grant helps set the foundation for higher productivity and improved livelihoods. The project will be implemented in five states: Central Equatoria, East Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile.
“Agriculture, including livestock and fisheries, is the main source of income for about 85% of the people of Southern Sudan,” said Festo Kumbo, Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries in Southern Sudan. “ Animal and fisheries production are vital to the well-being of the communities in the Upper Nile, East and Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity. This assistance from the Multi- Donor Trust Fund for Southern Sudan will help us transform pastoral and fisheries activities from subsistence to commercial enterprises, and develop domestic and export markets.” The Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries and its Directorates in the States are responsible for implementation of the project.”
Livestock production is directly affected by land and public investment policies that regulate migratory grazing and trading routes. With an estimated 8 to 10 million cattle, Southern Sudan has one of the highest cattle- to- human ratios in Africa. Fisheries production is equally important. It’s estimated that Southern Sudan could sell up to 300,000 tons of fish per year without depleting the resource.
The project will focus on four core areas: 1) Institutional capacity building, in the form of technical assistance in policy formulation and implementation at the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries and in five state directorates; 2) Improvement of service delivery for animal health, focusing on disease control; 3) Livestock marketing support through improved market facilities in the five states, enhanced training and information flows among herders and traders, and improved access to veterinary services and meat inspectors; 4) Development of fish production and marketing , emphasizing the development of a service delivery system for fisheries, which will help minimize post-harvest losses, improve access to markets, and build capacity.
By the time the overall program is completed, “the population of Southern Sudan will see animal disease surveillance and control systems established; an increase in cattle traded in market towns and border points, and fish production that reaches main markets,” said Surendra Agarwal, Manager of World Bank Sub-office for Southern Sudan. “Community networks will be empowered to maintain direct access to markets, control systems and production.”
Since 2005, the Multi Donor Trust Fund for Southern Sudan - financed by Canada, Denmark, EC, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK, World Bank - has signed 10 grants and supplemental grants totaling $138 million. Earlier grants include direct emergency support for basic services, as well as rehabilitation of roads, water systems and buildings for government ministries. The Government of Southern Sudan has contributed about US$195 million to these projects. Donors have committed a total of US$343 million for 2005-2007, of which US$252.4 million have been paid-in. MDTF projects planned for Southern Sudan in 2007 add up to about $240 million.