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FAO to participate in global launch of UN funding appeals


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A community garden project funded by the 2000 UN Consolidated Appeal at a refugee camp in Mtabila, Tanzania (Tanzania/22213/E. Eliah)

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Click below to learn more about two successful projects funded by last year's appeals:

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The UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeals (CAP) for the year 2001 will be launched on 29 November, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, at events in six donor capitals as well as in New York and Geneva. At FAO Headquarters in Rome, one of the sites chosen to host the event, the launch will be made jointly by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Lamberto Dini, and FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf. The theme of this year's appeals is Women and War.

Every year the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launches appeals to donor governments for humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations in crisis areas. The 2001 appeals focus on relief efforts led by UN agencies in response to 19 humanitarian crises. In Rome, activities will highlight the humanitarian needs of Angola, Somalia and Tajikistan -- countries whose recent histories have been marked by civil conflict, compounded in the cases of Somalia and Tajikistan by periods of extreme drought.

Helping farmers get back on their feet
This year, FAO is appealing for an estimated US$150 million to help vulnerable populations in countries and regions requiring emergency assistance, including Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Malukus islands of Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Uganda, along with the Northern Caucasus region of the Russian Federation and the Great Lakes region of Africa.

"FAO's role is to help farmers affected by disasters get back to producing food as soon as possible," says Anne M. Bauer, Chief of FAO's Special Relief Operations Service.

Through the Special Relief Operations Service, FAO provides immediate relief in response to requests for emergency agricultural assistance by distributing seeds, tools, fertilizers, agricultural equipment, and veterinary and feed supplies, including animals for breeding. FAO also assists in rehabilitating irrigation structures and offers technical advice, coordinating all emergency assistance programmes related to agriculture.

Last year, FAO appealed for US$145 million to fund emergency activities in more than 14 countries and regions.

Focusing on women in war
The theme of this year's appeals highlights the plight of women in conflict situations and their critical role in relief efforts and in achieving and maintaining peace. In the coming year, UN agencies' emergency assistance strategies will reflect this theme.

"The loss of seeds, livestock and tools during armed conflicts threatens women's ability to feed their families," says Sissel Ekaas, Director of FAO's Women and Population Division. "The fear of sexual violence as well as physical injuries compounds the trauma of war for women. This is particularly true in remote rural areas far from media coverage. As a result, such violations are often either ignored or unreported."

FAO is currently collaborating with the World Food Programme on a set of training guidelines for relief workers to facilitate gender-sensitive needs assessment and planning in emergencies. The draft guidelines will be completed by the end of 2000 and field tested early next year.

In October, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted its first resolution on women, peace and security -- another indication that the Women and War theme is firmly on the UN agenda. The resolution calls for the prosecution of crimes against women, increased protection of women and girls during war, more female staff in UN peacekeeping operations and field missions, and increased participation by women in decision-making processes at the national, regional and international level. The goal is to view women not just as victims in situations of armed conflict but as essential partners in the peace process.

27 November 2000

Excerpt from FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf''s address regarding the UN Consolidated Appeals. 3min 02sec, in Mp3, in Realaudio

Click to view video interview with Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and footage from Angola, Somalia and Tajikistan

Full press release

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