$1.06 billion needed to protect 26 countries from famine

$1.06 billion needed to protect 26 countries from famine

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation have launched a $1.06 billion appeal to save lives and livelihoods and address hunger across 26 countries.

Humanitarian needs have been exacerbated by ongoing conflicts, disasters and climate related shocks, leaving millions of people at risk of starvation and food insecurity. The UN’s latest report on global hunger found that after years of steady declines, the level of malnourished people is now rising again, with current total around 815 million.

With the support of donors the FAO is hoping to reach over 30 million people who currently rely on agriculture for their livelihoods with a range of interventions that aim to restore food production and enhance nutrition.

The FAO interventions will include providing seeds, tools and other materials for crop farming, safeguarding livestock through life saving veterinary care, organising training in production, processing and water and land management and proving the most vulnerable families with cash so they can immediately access food.

Dominique Burgeon, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Emergency and Rehabilitation Division commented:

“The reality is that while the lives of millions of people were saved thanks to rapid humanitarian response in 2017, millions more remain on the very edge of starvation”

“Maintaining food production and rebuilding agriculture are fundamental to preventing loss of life from severe hunger and to providing a pathway towards resilience in the midst of humanitarian crises"

The latest FAO appeal focuses on vulnerable people in crisis hit and food insecure countries The FAO hopes to reach 5.7 million people in Yemen, 3.9 million in South Sudan, 2.8 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2.7 million in Somalia and 2.3 million in Syria.

Continuing conflict in Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as new outbreaks of conflict in Central African Republic and Myanmar, have had a major role in the rising hunger levels. In addition, natural disasters such as Caribbean hurricanes, droughts and pest epidemics are threatening crop production.

Despite a serious threat of famine in South Sudan in 2017 it was avoided thanks to significant donations and aid from the humanitarian community, this included large scale support to agricultural and pastoral communities. The latest FAO appeal aims to replicate the success of South Sudan’s famine prevention.

Dominique Burgeon added:

“This is why FAO focuses on transforming vulnerability into resilience – so that when something bad happens families are better able to cope and feed themselves, people don't have to sell off their assets or flee, and communities can rebuild more quickly after the crisis passes"

Aid & International Development Forum are hosting the inaugeral Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Summit on 15-16 May in Naioribi. The summit will address topics relating to food security and agricultral adaptation.

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Image credit: Milada Vigerova

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