New US$13.5 million IFAD grant to bolster food security and incomes among the Sudan’s Southern rural poor

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New US$13.5 million IFAD grant to bolster food security and incomes among the Sudan’s Southern rural poor

Press release No.: IFAD/03/09

Rome, 5 February 2009 – A new project in The Sudan financed by IFAD will help 38,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable households overcome food insecurity and extreme poverty in six counties in Southern Sudan's Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei states. The US$13.5 million IFAD grant to support the Southern Sudan Livelihoods Development Project will target households headed by women and returnees. An additional grant of US$9 million will be provided by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as a US$3.4 million contribution fromthe Government of Southern Sudan and the beneficiaries. IFAD's grant agreement was signed at the Fund's headquarters here today by Lennart Båge, its  President, and Kuol Mawien Athien, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Government of Southern Sudan.

"The project will be IFAD's first operation in Southern Sudan following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005," said Rasha Omar, IFAD's Country Programme Manager for The Sudan. "It aims to improve agricultural productivity and marketing activities while building the institutional capacities of county offices to ensure a sustainable agricultural and economic development."

The project will tackle rural poverty, which is linked to the prolonged conflict situation, population displacement, poor public services and low agricultural productivity, by supporting community-based development of productive on-farm and off-farm activities. This includes technical and financial support for agricultural micro-projects, rural infrastructure and marketing facilities.

The key implementing partners of the project are the "boma" (cluster of villages) development committees and the government county offices. The project will also rely on technical assistance provided by qualified national and international non-governmental organizations to ensure the development and sustainability of community farming, herding and fishing activities as well as development of the planning and monitoring capacity in the county offices. In addition, it will finance repairs and maintenance of rural roads that support improved food security and higher incomes from agricultural activities.   

With this project, IFAD will have financed 16 projects in The Sudan for a total of commitment of US$ 225.37 million.

IFAD was created 30 years ago to tackle rural poverty, a key consequence of the droughts and famines of the early 1970s. Since 1978, IFAD has invested more than US$10 .6  billion in low-interest loans and grants that have helped over approximately  350  million very poor rural women and men increase their incomes and provide for their families. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency. It is a global partnership of OECD, OPEC and other developing countries. Today, IFAD supports close to 250 programmes and projects in 87 developing countries and one territory.