South Sudan: An Overview
The joy following South Sudan’s independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, after 21 years of civil war was short-lived. Less than a year and a half later, the resource-rich country was plunged into a brutal civil war, in December 2013 in which almost 400,000 lives were lost. Political unrest persists today.
Coupled with the devastating impacts of civil war which has caused mass displacement of people within the country, there has been a significant depletion of available natural food resources due to environmental conditions. This has resulted in South Sudan facing a state of emergency around food security.
Today, South Sudan is one of the world’s poorest countries with 8 million people, or two-thirds of the population, dependent on humanitarian aid. The country is highly vulnerable to climate change and climate-related events such as flooding, droughts, dry spells, pests and disease incidences which have become more frequent and unpredictable.
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Why We Are Here
In light of the ongoing challenges faced by the people of South Sudan, VWB/VSF Canada in South Sudan is implementing more effective and strategic interventions aimed at increasing coping capacities, reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience.
It is hoped that strengthening self-sufficiency will reduce the need for humanitarian interventions while enabling recovery, rehabilitation, and return.
Efforts are prioritized toward building the resilience of households and communities as it relates to food, nutrition and economic insecurity and conflict, economic and climatic shocks, pests and animal diseases. Building resilience against these factors that impact agriculture and livestock includes meeting humanitarian needs and supporting their livelihoods.
Current Projects in South Sudan: The FIT Project
VWB/ VSF Canada in South Sudan is implementing the Edible Insects Farming for Improved Nutrition and Incomes in South Sudan project in Jonglei State and Easter Equatoria State through funding from the Global Affairs Canada under the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT).
The project seeks to mitigate the effects of malnutrition and gender-related challenges in South Sudan through the production and marketing of edible insects.
Our Partners in South Sudan
VWB/VSF Canada is working closely with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and most specifically with the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and other main central government institutions.
In addition to these institutions, we are working with local government, women organizations, civil society organizations and community structures in the states to advocate for policies, programs and activities that support community resilience and animal health, and climate resilience programs in the country.
We participate in technical working group meetings that support food security and livelihood and livestock and work collaboratively with development partners and donors such as Global Affairs Canada, the EU, UNDP, FAO, WFP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, ILO and other UN Organizations.
Our Team On The Ground in South Sudan
John Gaaniko, Country Director
John Gaaniko is the Country Director for South Sudan. He previously served as a Program Management Specialist for USAID/South Sudan for ten years. John is a Development Professional and dedicated Project Manager with more than 8 years of work experience. He joined USAID/South Sudan in 2012 as a Program Management Specialist. He has prior experience working for UN Agencies in South Sudan, including UNHCR, UNOPS, and FAO for seven years before joining USAID. John has a Master of Science (MSc.),International Development, from University of Birmingham, UK.
Taban Kaps Robert, Program Manager
Taban Kaps Robert joined VWB-VSF Canada as a Program Manager on January 17, 2022. Prior to joining VWB-VSF Canada, he worked for Save the Children International as a Program Manager for two years. He also worked as a Program Manager for VSF Germany between 2019-2020. Prior to joining VSF Germany, he worked as Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) Coordinator and Team Leader between 2012 and 2017. He holds a Master of Science in Food Security and Development from the University of Reading in the UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Gulu University in Uganda.
Thon Abraham Aluong, Livestock Emergency Response Officer
Thon Abraham Aluong joined VWB-VSF Canada as a Livestock Emergency Response Officer in August 2021. He has over 5 years of experience in animal health & production, beekeeping management, fisheries, fish feeding and ponds management and food security and livelihood (FSL) techniques, principles, standards and disease identification and preventive measures.
Previously he worked as a livestock officer for the Green Belt Initiative (GBI) in Juba for 3 years. He was the Extension worker for VSF Germany between 2016 and 2017 before joining the GBI in Juba. He holds a Master of Science in Animal Health from the University of Juba and a Bachelor of Science in animal production.
Deng John Atem, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
Deng John Atem joined VWB-VSF Canada as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for VSF Canada in May 2021. Prior to joining VSF, he worked for Action Against Hunger (ACF) USA as a Food Security and Livelihoods Program Officer between 2020 and 2021. He also served as a Forestry Officer for Relief International between 2016 and 2017.
Deng holds a Bachelor of Environment and Natural Resources Management from Ndejje University in Uganda and a Diploma in Natural Resources Management from the University of Juba, South Sudan.
Rosemary Moria, Administration and Finance Officer
Rosemary Moria Ephraim joined VWB-VSF Canada in South Sudan as the Administration and Finance Officer in 2016.
Previously, she served as Administration and Finance Assistant for Pact Sudan between 2014 and 2015.
Rosemary holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from Ndejje University in Uganda.