FAO calls for over $96 million for urgent agricultural relief in 14 emergencies
Part of global humanitarian appeal to assist 31 million people left vulnerable by disasters
30 November 2005, Rome – FAO today launched an appeal for more than $96 million to provide agricultural relief in the coming year in 14 countries and regions suffering from devastating human or natural disasters.
FAO’s call for funds covers the agricultural component of the UN Humanitarian Appeal for 2006. UN agencies and their non-governmental partners are seeking a total of $4.7 billion to meet the basic needs of 31 million people struck by major emergencies.
“In a year marked by some of the biggest natural disasters in recent memory, from the Indian Ocean tsunami to the earthquake in South Asia, this appeal is meant to draw the world’s attention to the often forgotten emergencies,” said Anne M. Bauer, Director of FAO’s Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division.
Saving livelihoods, saving lives
“Countless lives are saved each year thanks to strong donor response to such appeals. A rapid and generous response can also be very cost effective, since the economic and social fallout of disasters only rise over time," said Bauer.
"FAO’s aim is to protect, restore and enhance the livelihoods of farmers and fishers affected by disasters," she added. "By promoting self-reliance, we help people move away from dependence on food aid and other forms of assistance.”
Most of the countries in this year's appeal are in Africa, which continues to be plagued by violence, displacement and endemic poverty. The situation is exacerbated by recurrent natural disasters and HIV/AIDS.
In Burundi, despite considerable progress, including the first democratically elected government since civil conflict began in 1993, over 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 69 percent suffers from malnutrition.
FAO is calling for over $10 million to improve agricultural and livestock production, rehabilitate rural infrastructure and heavily depleted forest resources, re-launch small-scale fishing activities, and improve the diets of the most vulnerable families through home gardening and fruit production.
Liberia stands poised for transition to democracy after 14 years of brutal civil conflict, but remains among the world's poorest, most food insecure countries, with more than 90 percent of the population surviving on less than $2 a day.
FAO is seeking $7.8 million to support production of rice, the country’s staple food, as well as vegetables, tuber and root crops, and warns that failure to increase agricultural production will result in continued food shortages and increased instability and may eventually threaten the peace process. Support for rehabilitation of fisheries activities and livestock production is also a priority.
The 2006 appeal for Somalia seeks to support one million chronically vulnerable people, the majority of whom can barely meet their basic needs.
FAO is asking for $7.6 million to help Somalis who have lost their livelihood assets due to violence, insecurity or unfavourable climatic conditions and to increase food availability for the internally displaced and returnees.
A potential bread basket for surrounding countries, Zimbabwe is facing threats common to several of its neighbours, in particular HIV/AIDS, natural disasters, food insecurity and declining capacity for basic social service provision.
FAO is asking for over $33 million for Zimbabwe to improve food security and increase agricultural productivity through input provision and improvement of crop management practices, as well as strengthened veterinary health services and animal disease control.
In Nepal, a worsening situation due to the country's nine-year insurgency has led to its first consolidated appeal.
Thirty-nine of Nepal’s 75 districts are estimated to be food-deficient. Rates of child malnutrition are high, and only 40 percent of rural households produce enough food to meet their year-round needs
To improve agricultural production and the development of basic community assets, and to avoid long-term dependence on food aid, FAO is asking donors for $2.9 million to fund activities aimed at improving agricultural output.
West Bank and Gaza Strip
According to a 2004 survey, over 70 percent of the households in West Bank and Gaza Strip needed assistance, with 600 000 Palestinians unable to afford basic necessities for subsistence.
Despite positive political momentum over the past year, physical and economic access to food remains a major constraint. Restricted movement of goods and people, loss of work and income, depletion of resources and assets, and exhaustion of coping strategies have all contributed to food insecurity.
FAO’s appeal for nearly $6.5 million concentrates on support to market development, as well as improving farm practices for products such as olive oil and other fruit tree crops and horticultural products. Attention will also be given to animal health, livestock production, rehabilitation of fishing infrastructure, capacity building and the procurement of agricultural inputs.
[Click here to read FAO's full appeal. For a complete list of countries and regions targeted, see box at right.]
Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
In the coming weeks, FAO will launch appeals totalling around $100 million for Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two countries transitioning from emergency relief to longer-term rehabilitation and development assistance and therefore not included in this year’s Humanitarian Appeal.
Information Officer, FAO
(+39) 06 570 56146
(+39) 348 14 16 671
2006 Humanitarian Appeal
Burundi: $10 387 750
e-mail this article