9th April 2020
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Make healthy diets affordable for all S. Sudanese – UN agencies

Author: Staff Writer | Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Farmers sort their grains in Yambio | Credit | Gabriela Vivacqua/WFP

Three UN agencies have called for action across sectors to make healthy diets affordable and accessible to everyone in South Sudan.

This is the World Food Day’s message for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNICEF and the World Food Program (WFP).

Organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the UN agencies, this year’s commemoration is being held in Yambio under the theme: ‘Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World.

The focus is on the importance of healthy diets and the contribution of smallholder farmers, including women towards achieving “zero hunger” and fighting malnutrition in their communities.

“Zero Hunger is not just about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people while nurturing the planet. Far too many South Sudanese don’t have the option to access healthy and nutritious foods in an extremely fertile country, blessed with natural resources and rich in local nutritious food,” said Meshack Malo, FAO Representative in South Sudan, in a statement extended to Eye Radio.

“We need to act fast and make sure South Sudan produces its own healthy food utilizing its full production potential, so that more people can live healthier lives.”

Although the food security situation has slightly improved in the last few months, UN says some 4.5 million people are struggling to meet their food needs between now and the end of the year.

They attribute this food insecurity to localized conflicts, climatic shocks, prolonged depletion of household assets and economic hardships.

“Conflict is the most destructive of all the factors affecting food stability in the country, disrupting livelihoods and increasing displacement,” said Mary-Ellen Mc Groaty, WFP’s acting Country Director in South Sudan.

“A Zero Hunger world starts with a peaceful one. With peace and stability, South Sudan could quickly recover from the crisis, boost agricultural production and access its healthy and nutritious food.”

World Food Day marks the anniversary of the founding of FAO in 1945. The main objective of the day is to heighten public awareness about the nature and dimensions of long-term global food challenges, and to develop further national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

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