UN agencies collaborate to help Sudan mitigate climate change while combatting hunger

Children carry jerrycans and other containers on their way to collect water in El Khatmia Village, Gadaref state, Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Kate Holt

21 December 2015 – Two United Nations entities today announced a cooperation agreement to help Sudan manage its natural resources in a way that is compatible with combatting hunger and improving livelihoods while at the same time mitigating the effects of climate change.

The a letter of agreement signed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) formalizes their collaboration on activities supporting the Government in assisting vulnerable communities in Sudan.

“UNEP is confident that this agreement with WFP will assist us to mainstream improved environmental management with humanitarian and early recovery activities through the wide-spread, professional presence of WFP in Sudan, ultimately helping recipient communities build resilience to climate change,” UNEP Representative Bradley Smith said of the agreement, signed earlier this month.

UNEP and its partners are promoting innovative natural resource management mechanisms that will contribute to improved livelihoods and climate resilience, while reducing conflict over precious natural resources such as water, forests and rangeland.

“This agreement shows our commitment to the outcomes of the United Nations climate change conference that has just concluded in Paris,” WFP’s Sudan Country Director Adnan Khan said.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with UNEP in assisting the Government of Sudan to address environmental issues and the challenges of climate change that could damage efforts to achieve Zero Hunger, especially where these involve smallholder farmers and other vulnerable groups that we assist through our programmes,” Mr. Khan added.

WFP supports vulnerable groups in Sudan in building their resilience to climate-related shocks and disasters while restoring livelihoods among internally displaced people, refugees and vulnerable communities.

The necessity of climate analysis and disaster-risk reduction is rapidly becoming apparent in Sudan, as fears grow that delayed and insufficient rainfall caused by this year’s El Niño weather pattern, which brings devastating droughts or catastrophic floods to different areas of the globe, has hurt crop development in key production areas of Sudan and increased the risk of below-average yields.

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