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European Commission - Press release

South Sudan: EU announces priority support to agriculture and food security

Brussels, 14 December 2011 – On the eve of the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan, which will take place in Washington on 14-15 December, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced that the European Commission will focus its aid on the agriculture and food security sector. €80 million will be allocated to improving rural infrastructure; boosting productivity by providing easier access to services and land; support to small-holders and strengthening water management for sustainable use. New jobs and growth in agriculture will also contribute to the much-needed diversification of South Sudan's oil-dependent economy. It is expected that some Member States will announce support in complementary sectors.

Commissioner Piebalgs said: “Today, the international community must secure a comprehensive plan to support South Sudan's sustainable development. I visited the country in November to confirm that the European Commission will play its share and will act in sectors where it has a high impact and a real added value. The new allocation is proof of the EU's long-term commitment to South Sudan's development, following its independence in July 2011. This support will be a first test for how we ensure that EU responds more effectively and with increased coherence to the challenges and needs of South Sudan”.

In May this year, the EU agreed to provide €200 million to South Sudan, focusing on a number of specific priority sectors: agriculture development, health, education, and the rule of law. €80 million out of this envelope will be allocated to the rural development/food security sector. This brings the total EU contribution in this sector to more than €120 million since 2010, and €200 million since the signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan back in 2005. EU aid to South Sudan is in line with the 2011-2013 South Sudan Development Plan and the South Sudan Aid Strategy.

Background

The announcement will be made today at the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan in Washington, which the EU co-sponsors. The €200 million allocation of May 2011 represents the European Commission's share of the joint programming exercise conducted with EU Member States during the course of this year. The Washington conference will provide the opportunity for the government of South Sudan to present its development vision and to discuss investment opportunities with international partners.

In November 2011, Commissioner Piebalgs visited South Sudan. This was the first official visit by a European Commissioner since the country gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, and his second visit since the referendum took place last January. The trip was a key opportunity to discuss an EU coordinated approach with the South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir Mayarditt, as well as other representatives of the government and from the international donor community.

For more information

MEMO/11/908 – EU development cooperation with South Sudan

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)


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