FAO calls for over $5 million to help Indonesian earthquake victims
Around 100 000 farming families have lost their assets and source of income
6 June 2006, Rome – The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called for $5.6 million to help farmers affected by the 27 May earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java quickly resume farming and livestock production activities.
Early recovery of the agriculture sector is essential for quick and sustainable improvement of rural people’s livelihoods, FAO said.
FAO’s appeal is part of the United Nations’ Inter-agency Earthquake Response Plan launched last week, which calls for $103 million to meet survivors’ immediate needs for emergency shelter, medical assistance, clean water, sanitation and food over the next six months.
Preliminary estimates indicate approximately 100 000 farming households in earthquake-affected districts of Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces have lost their productive assets and source of income. Harvesting could be delayed this season or crops completely lost, according to FAO.
“Farming families will not be in a position to replenish their stocks of agricultural inputs easily,” said Rajendra Aryal, emergency coordinator for FAO’s tsunami rehabilitation programme in Indonesia, adding that much needs to be done to restart animal husbandry activities and rehabilitate damaged irrigation wells. Aryal said that FAO will be able to build upon experience gained from post-tsunami rehabilitation efforts while implementing its post-earthquake initiatives.
FAO has assisted the Government of Indonesia in assessing the needs of vulnerable households in the affected areas. Farmers represent 40 percent of the rural population in Yogyakarta Province, and they need immediate assistance in the form of rice, secondary crop and vegetable seeds, fertilizer and agriculture equipment to resume food production.
Lost livestock will also need to be replaced, livestock shelters, trading markets and veterinary laboratories quickly rehabilitated, animal vaccines replenished, and damaged irrigation systems repaired.
According to FAO, funds are needed immediately to ensure that small-scale irrigation repairs are completed and seeds and fertilizers in farmers’ hands before the next cropping season in October. Quick donor response to the appeal is crucial to ensure adequate food production in the months ahead, the organization said.
Information Officer, FAO
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