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30 November 2005



FAO calls for over $96 million for urgent agricultural relief in 14 emergencies
Part of global humanitarian appeal to assist 31 million people left vulnerable by disasters


30 November 2005, Rome – FAO today launched an appeal for more than $96 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 Humanitarian Appeal for 2006. UN agencies and their non-governmental partners are seeking a total of $4.7 billion to meet the basic needs of 31 million people struck by major emergencies.

“In a year marked by some of the biggest natural disasters in recent memory, from the Indian Ocean tsunami to the earthquake in South Asia, this appeal is meant to draw the world’s attention to the often forgotten emergencies,” said Anne M. Bauer, Director of FAO’s Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division.

Saving livelihoods, saving lives


“Countless lives are saved each year thanks to strong donor response to such appeals. A rapid and generous response can also be very cost effective, since the economic and social fallout of disasters only rise over time," said Bauer.

"FAO’s aim is to protect, restore and enhance the livelihoods of farmers and fishers affected by disasters," she added. "By promoting self-reliance, we help people move away from dependence on food aid and other forms of assistance.”


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West Bank and Gaza Strip

According to a 2004 survey, over 70 percent of the households in West Bank and Gaza Strip needed assistance, with 600 000 Palestinians unable to afford basic necessities for subsistence.

Despite positive political momentum over the past year, physical and economic access to food remains a major constraint. Restricted movement of goods and people, loss of work and income, depletion of resources and assets, and exhaustion of coping strategies have all contributed to food insecurity.

FAO’s appeal for nearly $6.5 million concentrates on support to market development, as well as improving farm practices for products such as olive oil and other fruit tree crops and horticultural products. Attention will also be given to animal health, livestock production, rehabilitation of fishing infrastructure, capacity building and the procurement of agricultural inputs.

[Click
here to read FAO's full appeal. For a complete list of countries and regions targeted, see box at right.]

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Contact:

Teresa Buerkle
Information Officer, FAO
teresamarie.buerkle@fao.org
(+39) 06 570 56146
(+39) 348 14 16 671


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