The World Food Programme (WFP) said it has received an €8 million (US$9 million) contribution from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to improve smallholder farmers’ access to markets by rehabilitating and maintaining roads in South Sudan over the next four years.
WFP said in a statement extended to Radio Tamazuj today that the project will improve 250 kilometres of roads, assuring year-round access to more than 20 markets for 10,000 smallholder farmers and residents alike.
The project is aligned to the United Nations’ Partnership for Recovery and Resilience approach.
The world’s largest humanitarian organization further said it will connect people to clinics and other necessities and open up land to agriculture in Eastern and Western Equatoria states, both of which have been cut off due to poor roads.
The roadworks will further provide casual employment opportunities for more than 450 local youth and women as well as enhance community participation through Road Maintenance Groups, according to WFP.
“This contribution confirms the Netherlands’ drive to support critical interventions that support food production and people’s access to basic services,” said, Janet Alberda, Ambassador of the Netherlands to South Sudan, at a ceremony in the capital Juba on Thursday. “Our support is designed to help people especially women and youth to build resilience and reinvigorate their productive capacities by championing economic revival through infrastructure development.”
South Sudan is one of the most logistically challenging countries in the world. Although the Equatoria region is rich with fertile soils and endowed with good rainfall, agricultural production remains low due to insecurity and poor infrastructure. Several local agricultural markets also remain cut off from regional hubs, making it difficult for farmers to distribute their produce.
“We express our gratitude for the support received from the Netherlands” said Adnan Khan, WFP Country Director. “Improved access for farmers to markets is essential to increase agricultural production, generate economic growth in rural areas and reduce hunger and poverty.”
Between 2012 and 2015, the Netherlands provided US$18.5 million for roadworks. In 2016 and 2017, the country supported WFP’s emergency response, contributing more than US$7.6 million to help stave off hunger among the most vulnerable. The latest contribution brings total support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to WFP South Sudan to more than US$35 million.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.