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Over $114 million needed for agricultural relief in 11 emergency situations worldwide
FAO joins humanitarian partners in appeal to assist millions affected by disaster and conflict
1 December 2006, Rome – FAO is asking donors for over $114 million to provide agriculture relief to vulnerable rural populations in 11 emergencies worldwide.

FAO’s call for funds covers the agricultural component of the UN Humanitarian Appeal for 2007 -- the international community’s most important tool for raising resources for humanitarian action and early recovery.

“Agriculture remains the core survival strategy for the rural poor in developing countries,” said Anne Bauer, Director of FAO’s Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division. “FAO’s role is therefore critical to bolster self-reliance, and reduce the need for relief and harmful coping strategies such as selling assets, forced migration and sex-working, which in turn can exacerbate the humanitarian situation and increase the risk of permanent destitution.”

Focus on Africa

Africa, where violence, displacement and endemic poverty threaten the food security and livelihoods of millions, continues to be the focus of the appeals. The situation is aggravated by recurrent disasters and HIV/AIDS.

In Burundi, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and over 90 percent depends on subsistence farming, the Government and international community have identified agricultural recovery and rehabilitation as the first priority to consolidate the dividends of peace.

FAO is calling for around $9.5 million to provide assistance to groups with special vulnerabilities, such as households with limited access to land, refugees and the internally displaced (IDPs), ex-combatants, child-headed households and households affected by HIV/AIDS. FAO will continue to provide food and rural livelihood security surveillance to enable a fast response to emergencies and support strategic recovery of agriculture.

Somalia remains one of the most challenging humanitarian crises in the world. Despite a slight improvement in the food security situation, the FAO Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) for Somalia reports that in 2007 up to 1.8 million people will require urgent assistance.

FAO is seeking over $8 million for activities aimed at protecting and improving household food security by increasing access to food and means of production and by strengthening local institutions and community capacity to cope with future shocks, such as conflict, drought and floods.

Through the FSAU, FAO will continue to provide evidence-based analysis of food, nutrition and livelihood security to enable both short-term emergency responses and long-term strategic planning.

In Uganda, over 20 years of conflict have resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. FAO is appealing for over $15 million for activities aimed at both IDPs remaining in camps and those returning to their homes in the wake of the August ceasefire agreement.

FAO will help returning IDPs resume agricultural activities through the distribution of seeds and tools, and will provide equipment and training to improve post-harvest processing and storage. Project proposals include training in animal traction to enable more land to be used for agricultural production, restocking of small ruminants and training in animal husbandry, livestock disease control and nutritional requirements.

Support to IDPs in the camps will focus on seed provision and the creation of farmer field schools for knowledge transfer and the introduction of new agricultural practices and new fisheries activities.

In Karamoja, the poorest region in Uganda and subject to recurrent drought and endemic insecurity, FAO will focus on developing an emergency livestock fund and providing seeds to drought-affected households.

Despite its potential to be a major agricultural producer in the southern African region, Zimbabwe is currently facing a severe food shortage, which is further exacerbated by the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and a declining capacity for basic social services provision.

FAO is asking for nearly $39 million for activities focusing on increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers through seed and fertilizer provision, promotion of improved soil, crop and livestock management practices and support to macro- and micro-irrigation.

Vulnerable households will be assisted in protecting their assets through mass vaccination of poultry against Newcastle Disease, empowering local communities to prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases, and improved control of foot-and-mouth disease in affected areas.

The capacity of community groups and local authorities to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS will be strengthened through training of extension workers and Ministry of Agriculture staff and through promotion of small livestock production and the development of vegetable gardens to increase access to nutritious foods.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, restricted movement and unemployment have left half of the population food insecure. FAO is appealing for over $5 million for activities aimed at providing a safety net for food insecure households.

Project proposals include helping female-headed households diversify their income sources and improve post-harvest processing, and assistance to the most vulnerable civil servants to enable them to continue or restore their production activities to replace reduced or unpaid salaries stemming from reduced funding for the Palestinian Authority. Other activities include providing inputs and training to help small farmers in the West Bank produce better quality olive oil, and improving livestock productivity through better health management and hygiene practices. In addition, the rehabilitation and restoration of agricultural facilities will provide short-term employment opportunities to vulnerable households.

[For a complete list of countries and regions targeted, see box at right.]

In the coming weeks, FAO will also be joining the international community in seeking support for humanitarian, recovery and development assistance for the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia.


Contact:
Teresa Buerkle
Media Relations, FAO
teresamarie.buerkle@fao.org
(+39) 06 570 56146
(+39) 348 141 6671

Contact:

Teresa Buerkle
Media Relations, FAO
teresamarie.buerkle@fao.org
(+39) 06 570 56146
(+39) 348 141 6671

FAO/22334/A. Proto

Funds will go to protecting and rebuilding livelihoods in crisis-affected countries.

FAO funding requirements
2007 Humanitarian Appeal

Burundi: $9 405 000
Central African Rep: $3 261 610
Chad: $2 299 000
Côte d’Ivoire: $2 867 937
Great Lakes Region: $4 720 085
Republic of Congo: $1 071 070
Somalia: $8 275 000
Uganda: $15 325 000
West Africa: $23 035 210
West Bank and Gaza: $5 273 100
Zimbabwe: $38 665 000

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Over $114 million needed for agricultural relief in 11 emergency situations worldwide
FAO joins humanitarian partners in appeal to assist millions affected by disaster and conflict
1 December 2006 - FAO is asking donors for over $114 million to provide agriculture relief to vulnerable rural populations in 11 emergencies worldwide.
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