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FAO appeals for urgent Horn of Africa funds
Funding needed to build strength against crisis - FAO today urgently appealed for $50 million to cover the funding gap for priority agricultural and pastoral activities that must be carried out in the Horn of Africa before and during the next planting season, which coincides with the rainy season from April to June.
The funding is needed to implement a 90-day plan to give farmers and pastoralists the means to improve their livelihoods and build resilience to any future shocks. Some activities are already ongoing and need scaling up. They include crop and livestock production and cash- for-work programmes to restore vital agricultural infrastructure. "The international community needs to continue to support the most vulnerable households in Somalia and other arid and semi-arid lands in the Horn of Africa to cope with another possible dry spell," said Castro Camarada, FAO's Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa.
The regional climate outlook for the coming rainfall season indicates increased likelihood of below to near normal rainfall over much of the Horn of Africa region. According to FAO, although the situation in the drought-affected areas of the Horn of Africa has improved significantly in recent months it is estimated 8.1 million people there are still in need of assistance (Ethiopia: 3.2 million; Kenya: 2.2 million; Somalia: 2.5 million; Djibouti 180 000).