TOCH is a South Sudanese national NGO, established in 2008. TOCH implements a diverse portfolio of programmes covering
emergency responses to social development issues with a particular focus on internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees,
child protection, women’s empowerment and addressing underlying causes of poverty across their programmes.
In 2022, South Sudan faced its fourth consecutive year of unprecedented flooding and, going into 2023, an estimated
7.7 million people are likely to face severe acute food insecurity – IPC Phase 3 or above – during the April-July lean season.
Climate change continues to worsen agricultural productivity and even community infrastructures like schools and health
centres are frequently submerged in water. The current crisis in Sudan has already started to see an influx of refugees and
returnees to various states in South Sudan, which can only exacerbate the food crisis. Additionally, South Sudan is heavily
dependent on imported food supplies, and crises in Ukraine and now Sudan continue to inflate the market and threaten
whatever coping strategies families already have.
TOCH, in partnership with the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and Trocaire, has been responding to the
food crisis in Gogrial West and East in Warrap State with funding from Caritas Norway and Secours Catholique. Through this
support, TOCH was able to tackle food insecurity through distribution of ox ploughs, local seeds and vegetable seeds.
18 agricultural extension workers provided technical skills to local farmers to increase productivity and adapt to climatic
changes in the environment. Through this project, they have seen an increase in productivity among local farmers.
Cash assistance also accompanied the programme, supporting families through the lean season.
Local and national organisations like TOCH are on the frontlines of responding to the food crisis in South Sudan. Having worked
with these communities for years, they understand the context, the needs and have good relationships to be able to deliver
high quality response, including in locations where international NGOs are unable or unwilling to access. Yet, the funding
landscape for local and national NGOs (L/NNGOs) in South Sudan is challenging. Funding towards food insecurity has seen
little change in the last three years, while needs continue to grow, leading to a reduction in available resources from donors.
Preference still goes to funding larger international organisations perceived to have less ‘risk’, and when L/NNGOs are funded,
there is reluctance to cover overhead costs, capacity strengthening and security costs, which are essential in contexts like
South Sudan.
In partnership with CAFOD and Trocaire, TOCH was able to access the UN South Sudan Humanitarian Fund in 2021 for a
multi-sectoral response including food security and livelihoods. The pooled fund is hugely beneficial, but many L/NNGOs
still feel unable to access it directly, and last year the total percentage directed to L/NNGOs had decreased substantially.
Additionally, the fund dictates which locations and sectors can be responded to, meaning the support is not dependable
year-on-year even for those able to access it. More predictable multi-year and multi-sectoral funding is essential. Competing needs
and requirements of various donors – including different capacity assessments, due diligence and adhering to different
policies, reporting structures and timelines – adds extra pressure to L/NNGOs. These processes must be simplified, and
funding for the food crisis must be increased and made more accessible for those organizations working on the ground with
these communities every day.

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