Rome, 11 November 2004 - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today launched an appeal for more than $60 million to provide agricultural relief in the coming year in 14 countries and regions suffering from devastating human or natural disasters.
FAO's call for funds covers the agricultural component of the UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for 2005. UN agencies and their non-governmental partners are seeking a total of $1.7 billion to meet the basic survival and protection needs of 26 million people struck by major emergencies.
"By putting forward protection and recovery of agriculture-based livelihoods as an integral element of the emergency appeal, FAO seeks to ensure the rapid resumption of agricultural production to enhance self-reliance and food security, as well as improved nutrition of children, women, internally displaced persons, refugees and other vulnerable groups during and after a crisis," said Anne M. Bauer, Director of FAO's Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division.
"The inability to restore farmers' access to seeds and tools or to rapidly repair irrigation infrastructure during the critical period between the loss of agricultural assets and the planting season can result in prolonged dependency on food aid," Bauer said. "Failure to vaccinate and feed livestock can lead to dramatic reduction in household nutrition and income and slow regeneration of herds."
West Bank and Gaza Strip
According to the 2004 FAO/WFP assessment mission report, food insecurity is a real or near constant threat for about 70 percent of both West Bank and Gaza Strip populations, with four out of ten households identified as chronically food insecure.
For the West Bank and Gaza Strip, FAO is asking for $4 million to support a range of projects, including helping female-headed households improve nutrition and income through backyard farming, beekeeping and other activities, enabling poor farmers to produce high-quality olive oil through improved production and post-harvest techniques, rehabilitation of damaged greenhouses for vegetable production, and developing a food insecurity and vulnerability information mapping system to monitor and provide up-to-date information on food insecurity and nutrition status among Palestinians.
Information Officer, FAO
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