FAO advance team flies into Rwanda

Refugees and vulnerable farmers in need of help

An advance team of FAO experts has arrived in Rwanda to help coordinate emergency agricultural assistance for the settlement of more than 1 million refugees and displaced rural people hard hit by the current emergency in Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Zaire.

Led by FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf at the request of the Rwandan Government, the six-member team includes specialists in food security, agronomy and water control. An additional group of FAO technicians will follow to work with the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock on the rehabilitation of the entire sector.

FAO has already initiated action to provide refugees returning to Rwanda and Burundi from Zaire as well as vulnerable farmers in need of help in all three countries with seeds and hand tools so they can begin immediately to plant vegetable crops and prepare to plant a bean crop in February.

Seeds get Rwandese farmers planting again


FAO estimated that as of 17 November, the start of the UN Flash Appeal for the Great Lakes Region and Eastern Zaire, nearly US$5 million in emergency agricultural aid was needed for a total of 2,304,000 people.

FAO's emergency assistance is part of a relief and rehabilitation programme that began in Rwanda in 1994. So far, FAO has supplied US$11.7 million in seeds, tools and fertilizers from its own resources and donor contributions, alerted the international community to continuing food aid requirements in Rwanda and Burundi and put its expertise at the service of the governments and international humanitarian and NGO organizations.



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