News archive 2011
FAO calls for increased efforts to stem the food crisis in the Horn of Africa as famine spread to a sixth area of Somalia, threatening 750 000 people with starving to death in the next four months. Latest data indicated that famine has spread to Bay region, one of Somalia's most productive areas after other regions had previously been declared in a state of famine.
FAO urges heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence of H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza amid signs that a mutant strain of the deadly Bird Flu virus is spreading in Asia and beyond, with unpredictable risks to human health.
As world governments gather today in Ethiopia for an international pledging conference aimed at winning more aid for the Horn of Africa, FAO has warned that efforts to keep farmers and pastoralists on their feet, prevent the crisis from worsening and speed progress toward recovery are not being adequately funded.
The vulnerability of rain-dependent food production systems and the people who depend on them has been brought into stark relief by the situation in East Africa. While the challenges of finding stable water supplies for growing crops and raising animals are many -- and vary from place to place -- investing in irrigation where it is possible, improving the efficiency of agriculture's use of water, and adopting water-smart farming practices can all help.
On Wednesday 24 August FAO held a live tweet-up discussion on how farmers and pastoralists in the Horn of Africa have been affected by drought, and what needs to be done to help the region strengthen its agricultural sector in order to better weather shocks like drought and grow more food locally.
Governments, UN agencies and international organizations meeting in Rome today urged the international community to continue their support for life saving operations in the Horn of Africa but also warned that food producing farmers and herders need immediate help to prevent the crisis from deepening.
Urgent and concrete measures intended to heighten the international response to the worsening crisis in the Horn of Africa will be the focus of a high-level operational meeting hosted by FAO on 18 August 2011.
Extreme weather events and natural disasters will pose an increasing threat to the world's forests in coming years, requiring heightened cooperation between regions and countries, an international partnership for forest conservation and improvement warned today. The group's warning came as FAO launched a new publication report on how 'abiotic disturbances' are impacting forest health.
As famine spreads to three more areas of southern Somalia and threatens to engulf the whole of the country's south, FAO warns that immediate action is needed to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers and pastoralists across the drought-struck Horn of Africa.
Investment in agricultural rehabilitation in Togo by the European Union has led to benefits that are almost double their cost, according to FAO, which channeled the funds to help Togolese farmers cope with high food prices and climatic adversities.