Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Resilient Livelihoods in South Sudan
According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2017, South Sudan is ranked amongst the five most vulnerable countries in the world alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Haiti and Liberia.
Studies have shown that over the last three decades, temperature has increased in South Sudan. It is also predicted that temperature in South Sudan will increase by 2 1/2 times more than the global average.
Up to 95 percent of people in South Sudan, or more than 11 million people, are dependent on climate sensitive activities for their livelihoods, like agriculture, forestry resources and fisheries. Women in South Sudan commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change and food insecurity.
More than 95 percent of the country’s total area is considered to be suitable for agriculture, and 50 percent is considered prime agricultural land. Yet, currently only four percent of the land is actively cultivated.
Despite abundant water resources, irrigation is absent from 97 percent of agricultural land in South Sudan.
Impacts of climate change on South Sudan include but are not limited to: o increased incidence of floods and drought; sometimes both occurring during the same season
o increase of incidences of crop failure (low productivity and production), livestock deaths and pastoralists migration in search of water and pastures
o increased conflict over grazing areas among pastoralists and between farmers and pastoralists
o forest degradation and deforestation due to over grazing, cropping, indiscriminate cutting of trees for fuel wood and construction.
In the report of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, South Sudan has estimated that around US$50 billion will be required for mitigation and adaptation actions across sectors, up to 2030.
Three key actions UNDP is taking to support an agenda of climate change adaptation and building diversified livelihoods in South Sudan:
o UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is taking a number of steps to access international resources under the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund for critical adaptation actions.
o UNDP has supported the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to develop a draft National Disaster Risk Management Policy aligned to the Sendai Framework of Action. o A recovery and stabilization joint programme (UNDP, FAO, WFP, UNICEF) is supporting vulnerable communities to revitalize local economies and provide diversified livelihood options, in addition to other support.
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