Grant assistance for underprivileged farmers: for conflict-afflicted people in southern Sudan (through FAO)

News and Press Release
Originally published
1. The Government of Japan has decided to provide 100 million yen (approximately 930,000 dollars) "the Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers," (formerly known as "the Grant Aid for Increase of Food Production (2KR)") through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to help the conflict-afflicted people in the southern part of the Republic of Sudan. Notes to this effect were exchanged on July 26 (Tue) between Ms. Nobuko Matsubara, Japanese ambassador to Italy, and Mr. David Harcharik, Deputy Director General of FAO in Rome.

2. The Grant is to support the FAO project aiming at enhancing self-sufficiency capability in food production among internally displaced persons started to return to southern Sudan and the local residents who receive those returnees, following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement reached in January this year to end the conflict between north and south Sudan. FAO purchases grains seeds (sorghum, maize etc.), vegetable seeds (tomato, water melon etc.) and agricultural hand tools (spades, scythes) from local farmers in other part of the country, and provide them as "starter packs" with some technical guidance to 7,000 households of the returnees and the local residents. The project, which intends to bring people out of cycle of hunger by assisting returnees' own efforts to produce agricultural products, has specific importance in overcoming protracted food shortage and dependency of food aid.

3. The Government of Japan has expressed its commitment to support "consolidation of peace" in Sudan at the Donors' Conference on Sudan 2005 held in April this year in Oslo and announced its intention to provide a package of assistance totaling 100 million dollars for the time being. This Grant for south Sudan is a part of such efforts and also intended to support the new regime of Government of National Unity in Sudan launched on July 9. In the same context, Japan decided to provide food aid (530 million yen) for the returnees and the local residents in southern Sudan through the World Food Programme (WFP). In conjunction with the implementation of the FAO project, it is hoped that the Japan's assistance will contribute to alleviation of food shortage and enhancing self-dependency among the returnees and vulnerable people in local community, and thus contributing to regional stability.