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South Sudanese President Salva Kiir seen with South Sudanese senior army generals | Coastweek

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir [center] seen with senior South Sudanese army generals during the inauguration of South Sudan defense ministry’s building in Juba, capital of South Sudan. Salva Kiir on Thursday urged all the opposition leaders to genuinely work for the smooth implementation of the revitalized peace agreement in order to restore peoples’ hopes and aspirations. XINHUA PHOTO - DANIEL MAJAK

Record number of people facing 'critical' food
shortage in South Sudan report UN agencies

UNITED NATIONS South Sudan (Xinhua) -- The number of people facing a critical lack of food in South Sudan is reaching its record peak, three United Nations agencies warned on Friday.

An estimated 6.96 million South Sudanese will face acute levels of food insecurity or worse by the end of July, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released on Friday by the government of South Sudan in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP)

An estimated 21,000 people will likely face a catastrophic lack of food access, while about 1.82 million will face emergency and another 5.12 million people will face crisis levels of food insecurity.

The ongoing lean season started early following record low stocks from the poor 2018 harvest and has been further extended by the delayed onset of 2019 seasonal rains.

High food prices caused by last year’s poor harvests, market disruptions due to insecurity, high transport costs and a depreciated currency are also contributing to the high levels of acute food insecurity, according to a report jointly undertaken by the parties.

The effective implementation of the peace agreement and political stability are imperative to allow urgent and scaled-up humanitarian assistance to protect livelihoods and boost agricultural production across the country to save lives, the report said.

"With greater stability in the country, access to those in need has improved, allowing us to treat more than 100,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition in the first five months of the year, with more than 90 percent of those children recovering," said Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF’s representative in South Sudan.

FAO is providing new varieties of seeds suited to local conditions and training in techniques that will reduce losses from drought and flooding, while UNICEF and partners will further scale up services during the lean season to reach more children affected by severe acute malnutrition, expanding its programming through two key methods.

As part of its response, WFP will provide up to 5.4 million people with a variety of support including life-saving food and cash distributions in areas with working markets, food in return for work on the construction and rehabilitation of community assets, food for school meals, and special products for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition among children, and pregnant or nursing women.

WFP has prepositioned 173,000 metric tons of food in more than 60 areas before the onset of the rainy season, 66,000 metric tons more than the same time in 2018. Pre-positioning not only helps to save lives but reduces delivery costs.
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United Nations says 6.96 million people in
South Sudan face acute food insecurity

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- United Nations agencies said Friday an estimated 6.96 million South Sudanese will face acute levels of food insecurity or worse by the end of July.

A joint report by South Sudan government and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP) says some 21,000 people will likely face a catastrophic lack of food access while about 1.82 million will face emergency and another 5.12 million people will face crisis levels of food insecurity.
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Humanitarian aid for South Sudan at Malakal siding | Coastweek

  Ronald Sibanda, WFP country director in South Sudan, said the hunger season coincides with the rainy season which he said is a "perfect storm" in South Sudan.

"As we ramp up our response, the race is now against time and nature," he said.

"We must act now to save the lives and livelihoods of the millions on the brink of starvation."

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released in Juba, the number of people facing a critical lack of food in South Sudan is the highest ever.

Compared to last January’s forecast for the period of May-July 2019, 81,000 more people than originally projected are facing IPC Phase 3 or worse food insecurity, particularly in the Jonglei, Lakes, Unity and Northern Bahr el Gazal states, the report said.

Meshack Malo, FAO representative in South Sudan, said the report reveals that much work needs to be done, noting that recovery of food production and increase of yields are reliant on the maintenance of peace, and must be given a chance.

MALAKAL South Sudan (Xinhua) -- Humanitarian workers load relief food and other items on the World Food Program barges in Malakal port in Malakal, South Sudan. According to a joint United Nations report, some 21,000 people will likely face a catastrophic lack of food access in South Sudan, and about 1.82 million will face emergency. Another 5.12 million people will face crisis levels of food insecurity. XINHUA PHOTO - DENIS ELAMU

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"FAO is working with returning farmers to assist them to resettle, build assets and adapt to changing rainfall patterns," Malo said.

The ongoing lean season started early following record-low stocks from the poor 2018 harvest and has been further extended by the delayed onset of 2019 seasonal rains.

This, combined with persistent economic instability, the effects of previous years of conflict and related asset depletion and population displacements, have contributed to the disruption of livelihoods and reduced people’s ability to access food, the report said.

High food prices caused by last year’s poor harvests, market disruptions due to insecurity, high transport costs and a depreciated currency are also contributing to the high levels of acute food insecurity.

The UN agencies said effective implementation of the latest peace agreement and political stability are imperative to allow urgent and scaled-up humanitarian assistance to protect livelihoods and boost agricultural production across the country to save lives.

Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF representative in South Sudan, said the agency and partners will further scale up services during the lean season to reach more children affected by severe acute malnutrition, expanding its programming through two key methods.

"With greater stability in the country, access to those in need has improved, allowing us to treat more than 100,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition in the first five months of the year, with more than 90 percent of those children recovering," Ayoya said.
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UPDATE:

European Commission providing million U.S. $55
dollars in fresh humanitarian aid for South Sudan

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- The European Commission (EC) on Thursday announced 55 million U.S. dollars in humanitarian assistance for South Sudan where an estimated 6.96 million people will face acute levels of food insecurity or worse by the end of July.

The EC said the latest funding comes on top of last week’s 1.13 million dollars, which was released to enable the government to step up Ebola prevention in the South Sudan.

"Our new funding will help partners save lives on the ground.

"It is therefore essential that humanitarian workers have full and safe access to do their lifesaving job," Christos Stylianides, EC commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said in a statement issued in Juba.

According to a joint United Nations report, some 21,000 people will likely face a catastrophic lack of food access in South Sudan, and about 1.82 million will face emergency.

Another 5.12 million people will face crisis levels of food insecurity.

The UN says the number of people facing a critical lack of food in South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, is the highest ever.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

United Nations repairs 2,500 km roads to support
peace and economic growth in South Sudan

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- At least 2,500 kilometers of roads have been rehabilitated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to support ongoing peace efforts and economic growth in the country.

"When South Sudan gained its independence, it inherited infrastructure that was in a dire state with only about 250 kilometers of sealed roads. War and weather have also taken a toll over the years, leaving many roads impassable in the rainy season," said David Shearer, head of UNMISS and Special Representative of the Secretary General, in a statement issued on Thursday.

He said that the major supply routes rehabilitated by engineers from Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand and South Korea since December 2017 will make a big difference to people’s lives.

"Our engineers have spent six months working intensively leveling and grading roads as well as repairing supporting infrastructure, such as culverts and bridges.

"They have focused on major routes from Juba to Bentiu (940km), Juba-Bor-Pibor (400km) and Malakal (200km)," said Shearer.

He claimed that the improved roads will help in rapprochement as several South Sudanese are now able to travel to meet with each other hence, making it easier to build trust and confidence.

"Many families are also beginning to have the confidence to return to their homes as the security situation improves.

"Better roads will enable them to travel safely and more easily," said Shearer.

Shearer disclosed that humanitarian agencies will be able to reach communities in need and save millions of dollars travelling by road rather than relying on transporting aid by air.

UNMISS will also be able to supply its bases and deploy peacekeepers to locations around the country more efficiently and effectively, he added.

"I would like to thank the countries that have sent their engineers to serve the people of South Sudan.

"Their efforts are improving people’s lives as well as the prospects of South Sudan securing a peaceful and more prosperous future," said Shearer.
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South Sudan hopes to use historical archives to build national identity

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- As peace and normalcy slowly return to South Sudan in the wake of a revitalized peace agreement, the world’s youngest nation hopes to use its curated historical documents to rally for peace and unity.

Some of the 8,000 historical posters in the country’s national archives span over 100 years, from the colonial era to the pre-independence years, with the oldest one being of 1898.

South Sudan declared its independence from Sudan in 2011.

Nadia Arop Dudi, minister of culture, youth and sports, said that these archives will help South Sudanese learn their history and help shape the future of the nation, in addition to building enduring peace and unity.

"The most specific role of archives is to preserve collective memory, and humanity can learn lessons from war and find path toward enduring peace," she said on Thursday in Juba.

"We will change the future for the better if we continue to recall the past.

Youssef Onyalla, overseer of the nascent national archives, told journalists in Juba last week during celebrations marking International Archives Day that efforts are being made to scan and digitize the historical items.

Ceasar Bayeh Loyalala, 71, a veteran liberation hero of the 1960’s, lauded the significant role of the archives in the current South Sudan context.

"We learn from the past to improve our future.

"Let us be proud of our past," he said.

"It has been a long march with a lot of losses, but here we are now, enjoying the fruits of independence because of our past struggles."

"We should from time to time visit the past.

"We should cherish our veterans in all fields to learn from them.

"They are living archives like myself," added Loyalala, who now serves in the transitional parliament.

Saidou Sireh Jallow, country director of United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), implored South Sudan leaders to treasure history by passing it unto the future generations.

Archives will allow South Sudanese to reconnect with the past and learn from it, he said.

"This is the only written heritage of the country. The archives form the primary historical documentary resource for the development of the South Sudanese national identity," Jallow said.

"As a significant part of the South Sudanese people shared heritage, the archives have an important role to play for national unity," he added.
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South Sudan eyes fiber optic cables to promote digital literacy

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Wednesday laid a fiber-optic cable in a bid to bring high-speed broadband internet to its war-affected citizens to help enhance digital literacy in the east African country.

Michael Makuei Lueth, minister of information, communication, technology, and postal services, said the government is optimistic that the infrastructure will help it to deliver high-speed broadband connections in which the telecom operators failed to undertake.
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Michael Makuei Lueth, South Sudanese minister of information, communication, technology | Coastweek

 

"Today is the beginning of the information communication technology (ICT) connectivity, especially through the fiber optic cable.

"This is an important day for us in the ministry because it is a continuation of the government to allow the citizens to access services," Makuei said in Juba.

He said in partnership with the Vertigo Communications Ltd, a Juba-based local ICT company, they will work jointly to render better services to the public, particularly in the areas of boosting socioeconomic development and education sector in the country.

Deng Biar Deng, managing director of Vertigo Communication Ltd, said the fiber cable will support the government in extending services to post-conflict communities who are deprived of access to the most basic study tools in the country.

"The metro ring fiber optic will enable government, private sectors, mostly institutions of learning like universities to tap into the infrastructure have lay to enhance the tools of education," Deng said.

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- Michael Makuei Lueth [fifth left], South Sudanese minister of information, communication, technology, and postal services lays a fiber-optic in Juba, capital of South Sudan. South Sudan on Wednesday laid a fiber-optic cable in a bid to bring high-speed broadband internet to its war-affected citizens to help enhance digital literacy in the east African country.  XINHUA PHOTO - DANIEL MAJAK
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The move comes barely a month after the government launched an international gateway to ease call rates and boost internet services offered by its two leading telecom companies, namely the South African giant Mobile Telecommunications network and Zain.
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South Sudan ceasefire monitors hail progress in truce implementation

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan’s ceasefire monitors said Tuesday said there has been remarkable progress towards formation of a unified force of 83,000 personnel to support implementation of the six months pre-transitional period extension.

Desta Abiche Ageno, chairperson of Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring, Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), said that parties have achieved progress on implementation of security mechanisms as stipulated in the September peace deal.

"Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring, Verification Mechanism appreciate the commitment made so far by the parties to form the necessary unified forces at a force size of 83,000 personnel," Ageno told a stakeholders’ meeting in Juba.

He said that the verification of cantonment is a priority of CTSAMVM during the extended pre-transitional period with the Joint Defense Board (JDB) having identified 35 cantonment areas, where the body has assessed 20.

"CTSAMVM found that 17 of the 20 assessed sites are suitable for cantonment with one not suitable and two were disputed. We urge the joint defense board to quickly resolve the disputed cantonment sites," said Ageno.

"Cantonment, as you know, provides the very basis for the implementation of the Security Arrangements, without which the Peace Agreement cannot be implemented. When troops are cantoned they will be separated, thus keeping the risk of any sort of military engagement to a minimum," he added.

He reiterated that cantonment will allow the other activities of the security arrangements such as registration, screening for eligibility for future service, Disarmament, demobilization and Rehabilitation (DDR) to start.

The warring parties agreed on May 3 to extend the pre-transitional period for another six months to address outstanding issues like security arrangements, which include assembling and screening of forces, determining the number of states and demarcation of boundaries.

South Sudan’s conflict, which has now entered its fifth year, erupted in 2013 after forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar engaged in combat.

In September 2018, Kiir, Machar and several opposition groups signed a new power-sharing deal in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.
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South Sudan says unification of forces on course due to availability of cash

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Tuesday said it is making significant progress toward the cantonment and unification of forces due to availability of funds.

Charles Madut Akol, head of the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) said their work has been supported with two million U.S. dollars which will cater for welfare of soldiers that are already being prepared for screening before assembling in the cantonment areas at various counties.

"Initially we lagged behind due to unavailability of financial resources.

"However, after release of the two million dollars by National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) JMCC has managed to defuse the notion that the mechanism lacks capacity to fulfill its mission," Akol told journalists in Juba.

He said the peace implementation process has witnessed significant progress, and added that the availability of these funds will help the JMCC to fulfill its role at the levels of the states and counties as provided for under the revitalized peace agreement.

"The work of the cantonment verification assessment teams is progressing very well and will tender a comprehensive report to enable us to move equipment for establishment of temporary shelters and stores for food, and weapon storage," Akol said.

He also said the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) has already provided them with some movable stores in form of containers for storage purposes.

"We are very grateful to the Joint Defense Board (JDB) and the NPTC for their commitment to help us achieve this particular project in time," added Akol.

He disclosed also that CTSAMVM has accepted to help establish the first cantonment model that can be used as an example for the rest of the cantonment sites.

"We are expectant that the project will start immediately after redeployment of the Area Joint Military Ceasefire Committee (AJMCC) and Joint Military Ceasefire Teams (JMCTs)," he said.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The UN estimates that about four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.
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United Nations supports South Sudan efforts to stimulate trade

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said on Tuesday it will use support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to build its institutional capacity to stimulate trade with its neighbors and the world.

Agak Achuil Lual, undersecretary Ministry of Trade and East African Affairs, said the Tier 1 credit facility under the Enhanced Integration Framework supported by UNDP will help them enhance institutional capacity of the ministry of trade and related institutions to better coordinate and integrate trade issues into the country’s development agenda.

"The (trade) ministry aims to create enabling environment for mainstreaming trade into the national agenda, build capacity of the staff of the ministry and develop laws of our trade policy," Lual said in Juba.

"Rwanda and Uganda have already started implementing Tier 2 and these countries are also Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like South Sudan."

In October 2014, the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) for South Sudan was validated.

The DTIS is the cornerstone to the EIF program as it forms the basis for eligibility to the program.

The DTIS and it’s Action Matrix is an analytical report or document that LDCs use to develop concrete national Aid for Trade (AfT) implementation plans (Tier I).

Tier I Project will be implemented over three years and support greater in-country capacity and ownership with the objectives of building the human resource capacity of the national implementation arrangements, preparing or updating the DTIS and facilitating and supporting mainstreaming trade actions.

UNDP handed over assortment to the ministry of trade that included computers, vehicles, cameras and furniture to enable capacity building of staff as South Sudan seeks to build its competitive advantage in both regional and global trade.

Kamil Kayode Kamaluddeen, country director of UNDP South Sudan, said the inauguration of the National Implementation Unit office is in line with the progressive vision of South Sudan to stimulate the economy and leverage opportunities through local, regional and international trade for delivering goods and development.

"This important project we are launching today is supported by the EIF, a multi-lateral facility dedicated to assisting least developed countries to use trade as an engine of growth, social development and poverty eradication," he said.

"Through this project the government of South Sudan will receive adequate technical assistance, capacity building including issues related to trade negotiation, World Trade Accession and engagement with the East African Community (EAC)," he added.

South Sudan in 2016 joined the regional trade body EAC that also includes Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

The country depends 98 percent on oil to finance its fiscal budget and it’s currently reviving oil production in it’s northern oil fields that were affected during the more than five years of conflict.

             

 

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