FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Juba, 29 November 2023 – Three Multi-Year Emergency Food Security (MYEFSP) projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are coming to an end and are showcasing promising pathways to recovery, resilience, and empowerment in South Sudan.
World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, and Norwegian Refugee Council have joined to commemorate the achievements and impact of the USAID/Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) MYEFSP activities they implemented, together with partners, in a closeout ceremony at the Imperial Hotel in Juba.
The projects nearing completion are:
- Accelerating Recovery and Resilience in South Sudan (ACCESS) Project (December 2020 – February 2024). Over the span of three years, the project reached over 237,000 people in four counties (Melut, Baliet, Nasir and Ulang) in Upper Nile State with its multi-sectoral approach, integrating food security and livelihoods, gender equality and social inclusion, mental health and psychosocial support, disaster risk management, peacebuilding, and water, sanitation and hygiene interventions. ACCESS worked towards accelerating recovery and bolstering resilience of vulnerable communities in Upper Nile by providing essential complementary services that leveraged on existing World Food Program, Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF and other USAID humanitarian assistance projects. World Vision South Sudan has been leading the implementation of the project in collaboration with two local sub-grantees – Nile Hope (NH) and Humanitarian and Development Consortium (HDC).
- Complementary Action for Resilience Building (CARB) Project (January 2021 – January 2024). CARB is a multi-year emergency food security program that aims to achieve improved food security in eight counties in Western Bahr El Ghazal and Unity States. The project was implemented in partnership with five international non-government organisations led by Norwegian Refugee Council and its partners Danish Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee, ACTED and REACH Initiative. The CARB project has reached 243,060 people through the provision of seeds, promotion of context-specific improved crop management practices, implementation of community managed disaster response action plans, promotion of inter and intra community peace building dialogues, addressing gender-based violence, responding to potential disasters and climate shocks, skills and livelihood trainings, formation and capacity strengthening of village savings and loans association, as well as other health and nutrition interventions.
- Pathways to Resilience (P2R) Project (December 2020 – November 2023). P2R is an emergency food security project implemented by the Catholic Relief Services in partnership with Vétérinaires sans Frontìeres Germany. The project reached 242,709 people through its integrated sectoral approach that took into consideration the different needs of vulnerable people – women, men, girls, and boys – in two counties in Jonglei (Akobo and Duk) and two counties in Easter Equatoria (Budi and Kapoeta). P2R responded to the needs of host and returnee populations that had experienced decades of conflict and other natural shocks and stressors in Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria States. The program spanned activities from capacity building on social cohesion through to livelihoods and income generation opportunities for food insecure communities. P2R pivoted between emergency response, recovery and resilience building based on the rapidly changing livelihoods status of participants and adapted its response to the evolving needs of targeted communities.
These projects were designed to provide targeted longer-term emergency interventions that help communities move beyond relief assistance towards longer-term recovery and resilience. With interventions aimed at restoring rural livelihoods and increasing food production, improving nutrition and hygiene practices, providing lifesaving emergency assistance, and enhancing resilience and social cohesion.
The successful implementation of these projects, and the impact of these projects had in transforming the economic status of vulnerable people in their communities underscore that a transition from humanitarian assistance to development in a country of constant crisis is possible.
“We have seen improved food production by our [P2R) farmers through training on climate-smart agriculture production techniques, thus building their resilience to recurring climate shocks,” said Hopewell Zheke, CRS South Sudan Country Representative.
A community member participating in CARB’s focus group discussion in Panyijar County in Unity State shared that how peacebuilding dialogues transformed mindsets and behaviours in his community, “Through CARB dialogues, we are now able to solve our issues in amicable manner, not like before when issues could only be solved through fighting. People can move around freely without fear of revenge killings.”
“Upper-Nile State being one of the most fragile regions in terms of climate shocks and inter-communal violence, the ACCESS Project supported communities affected by disasters through unconditional cash—this enabled them to recover promptly and continued participating in other resilience activities. However, the root causes of the manmade disasters and nature-induced hazards still persist and continue to hinder household resilience building. More investments for long-term resilience programming that caters for both lifesaving and development is needed,” said Mesfin Loha, World Vision South Sudan Country Director.
Erickson Bisetsa, World Vision South Sudan (email@example.com +211 923183000)
Wilfred Munguri, Catholic Relief Services (firstname.lastname@example.org +211 922894197)
Anthony Akwenyu, Norwegian Refugee Council (email@example.com +211 922761518)
SOUNDBITES FROM IMPLEMENTING PROJECTS
World Vision for ACCESS Project
Message to donors – American people/USAID BHA
“First and Foremost, I would like to convey gratitude to the American people for their financial assistance to the vulnerable people of Upper-Nile State/South Sudan—it has made a significant impact in strengthening economic empowerment of project participants especially those engaging in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) owned by youth and women groups.”
Erickson Bisetsa, ACCESS Project Chief of Party, WV South Sudan
Importance of peacebuilding initiatives
“Without peace, farmers will not devote ample time for on-farm activities and will continue depending on humanitarian aid which is not a panacea! Thus, a greater focus on improving social cohesion through peacebuilding initiatives at all levels is the bottom line for the household resilience building.”
Erickson Bisetsa, ACCESS Project Chief of Party, WV South Sudan
Call for sustainability and more investment
“Upper-Nile State being one of the most fragile regions in terms of climate shocks and inter-communal violence, the ACCESS Project supported communities affected by disasters through unconditional cash—this enabled them to recover promptly and continued participating in other resilience activities. However, the root causes of the manmade disasters and nature-induced hazards still persist and continue to hinder household resilience building. More investments for long-term resilience programming that caters for both lifesaving and development is needed.
“It is also important to stress the importance of sustaining the gains for the ACCESS Project to enable communities strengthen their transformative capacities against regressing into the IPC 4—emergency or IPC5—catastrophe.”
Mesfin Loha, World Vision South Sudan Country Director
CRS for Pathways to Resilience
“We have seen improved food production by our farmers through training on climate smart agriculture production techniques, thus building their resilience to recurring climate shocks.”
Hopewell Zheke, CRS South Sudan Country Representative
“Integrating Social Cohesions/Trauma Awareness and Resilience interventions with mainstream resilience activities provided many benefits that cut across the four dimensions of transformational change. Testimonies of P2R project participants told us that food-insecure populations living in violent environments could learn how to cope with shocks and stressors. Tools like Cash for Work transformed ordinary relief activities, into significant undertakings that reorganized the rules of the game (Structural Dimension of Change) and connected disparate Payams and Bomas, with roads, dams, dikes, and water ponds.”
Wilfred Munguri, P2R Chief of Party, CRS
Community beneficiaries and NRC for CARB Project
Impact of the CARB Project
“The BHA-MYE projects were designed to provide targeted longer-term emergency interventions that help communities move beyond relief assistance towards longer-term recovery and resilience. With interventions aimed at restoring rural livelihoods and increase food production, improve nutrition and hygiene practices, provide lifesaving emergency assistance and enhance resilience and social cohesion the CARB project reached 243,060 people in 8 counties of Western Bahr el Ghazal (Wau and Jur River) and Unity (Mayom, Leer, Mayendit, Panyijiar, Guit, Rubkona) states.”
Anthony Akwenyu, CARB Project Chief of Party, NRC
"Upon completion of the training in the different departments, we were given a start-up capital. For example, the carpentry department was given 318,000SSP ($318) to set up their own business, the builders and masonry were 617,000SSP ($617) to start up their own business also including the bakery and the tailoring department.”
Former graduate of CARB livelihood trainings in Mayom County in Unity State.
“Through CARB dialogues, we are now able to solve our issues in amicable manner, not like before when issues could only be solved through fighting. People can move around freely without fear of revenge killings.”
FGD participant-Panyijiar County in Unity State