News archive 2010
The number of people needing humanitarian assistance in Somalia has dropped by 25 percent to 2 million in the last six months according to a report by the Nairobi-based Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization. But the gains could easily be reversed if next season's rains are poor.
Millions of livestock have been affected by the floods in Pakistan and are badly in need of food and medicine. Around 200 000 cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys have been confirmed as dead or missing but the final numbers will be higher, possibly into the millions. The entire poultry stock has been wiped out in some areas. Millions of surviving animals are now facing severe feed shortages.
The United States Agency for International Development is renewing its support of FAO's efforts to combat highly pathogenic avian influenza and other emerging infectious diseases, the UN agency announced today. USAID's commitment totals US$26.3 million. The funds will support FAO technical assistance to strengthen HPAI surveillance and outbreak response capacities in regions where the disease still persists.
Madagascar is at risk of a significant plague of crop-eating locusts, FAO warned today. Immature swarms of locusts have moved out of the country's south-western corner and have begun to spread east and north, as far as Maintirano. A major control campaign will be necessary starting in advance of the upcoming rainy season to stop their numbers from growing and prevent a plague.
As efforts continue to save the lives of Pakistanis stricken by monsoon floodwaters, FAO warns of serious threats to the livelihoods and food security of millions. Almost 14 million people are reported to have been directly affected by the disaster and numbers are rising. The devastation left by flood waters in the north and centre of the country may worsen as they continue to head southward.
FAO today has launched a new online portal on fire information and real time monitoring to help countries to control fire effectively and protect property and natural resources. The new Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS) detects fire hotspots from satellites operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Although the food security situation in Zimbabwe has improved significantly following government efforts and a $70 million international assistance programme that provided farmers with subsidized inputs, the country will still be in need of agricultural and food assistance next year for some 1.68 million people.
Production of rice - the world's most important crop for ensuring food security and addressing poverty - will be thwarted as temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change, according to a new study by an international team of scientists.
The impact of unfavourable weather events on crops in recent weeks has led FAO to cut its global wheat production forecast for 2010 to 651 million tons, from 676 million tonnes reported in June. But despite production problems in some leading exporting countries, fears of a new global food crisis are not justified at this point.
Around one million people in Siyang County, China, are now enjoying benefits from the capacity of poplar forests to restore marginal flood plains stabilizing the banks of the Yellow, Huai and Yangtze rivers. Poplar trees protect fields from floods, wind, sandstorms and soil erosion which gives boost to agricultural activities and improves rural livelihoods.