Today, SIPRI is pleased to launch a new video series on perceptions on food security in South Sudan and efforts to improve prospects for peace. The interviews were conducted as part of the wider knowledge partnership between SIPRI and the World Food Programme (WFP), which is aimed to strengthen WFP’s contribution to improving prospects for peace in the countries where it works.
Watch the full interview playlist on SIPRI’s YouTube channel.
The series features a wide range of distinct voices: policymakers, practitioners in humanitarian organizations present in South Sudan, the local population living in internally displaced people camps and traditional authority representatives in Jonglei State.
The interviews highlight numerous sources of insecurity in an already fragile setting in South Sudan with the main security challenge being the prevalence of violent conflict in all ten states and the three administrative areas in South Sudan. Two years into a fragile peace agreement, South Sudan is faced with different kinds of local, subnational and intercommunal violence. Violence is pervasive; civilians are being attacked and abducted as they carry out their everyday activities. This has displaced entire communities, limited access to livelihood activities in the region and disrupted the cultivation of farmland.
In this complex security environment, food insecurity plays an important role as two thirds of the population are currently severely food insecure, the most extreme levels since independence in 2011. South Sudan has been faced with severe droughts and unprecedented flooding in the past three years, which further exacerbates the fragility and security landscape. The interviewees stressed that humanitarian assistance is the key support that communities receive, especially in conflict-affected areas and those affected by natural calamities such as flooding and droughts.
The interviewees share a holistic perception of security in which it is crucial to ensure stability and peace so that people can flourish in their everyday lives and coexist peacefully irrespective of the different tribal groups they come from. The interviewees also call for government intervention: to engage communities; to take further steps in stabilizing the country’s economy; to provide basic services such as health and education; to enable access through construction of the roads; and most importantly to ensure that the population is safe in their communities and everyday lives.
The video series is part of a wider knowledge partnership established in 2018 between SIPRI and WFP to help strengthen WFP’s contribution to improving the prospects for peace in the countries where it works.
The key pillars of the knowledge partnership include improving the evidence base for the relationship between food and security; operationalizing findings in current and future programmes—particularly those in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 16; and developing policy that clearly articulates WFP’s contribution to sustainable peace and conflict prevention. The research for Phase I of this partnership visited four case study countries—El Salvador, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Mali—and produced initial findings in June 2019. In Phase II of the research, which includes South Sudan, the inquiry was broadened, by incorporating new countries, and deepened, through a focus on five thematic areas: stabilization, climate change, gender, cash-based programmes and measurement. Read more about SIPRI’s Food, Peace and Security Programme.
About SIPRI’s films
SIPRI produces a variety of videos to cater for different viewing preferences and serve as an alternative platform for providing insights on peace and security. Watch more films on SIPRI’s YouTube channel.
For information and interview requests contact, Alexandra Manolache, SIPRI Media and Communications Officer (email@example.com, +46 766 286 133).