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Food and Agriculture Organization appeals for fund for Horn of Africa
Afrique en Ligue
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Friday urgently appealed for US$50 million to cover the funding gap for priority agricultural and pastoral activities that must be carried out in the Horn of Africa before and during the next planting season, which coincides with the rainy season (April-June).
An FAO statement obtained by PANA here said the funding was needed to implement a 90-day plan to give farmers and pastoralists the means to improve their livelihoods and build resilience to any future shocks.
The UN agency said some activities were already ongoing and needed scaling up - such as crop and livestock production and cash- for-work programmes to restore vital agricultural infrastructure.
'The international community needs to continue to support the most vulnerable households in Somalia and other arid and semi-arid lands in the Horn of Africa to cope with another possible dry spell,' Castro Camarada, FAO's Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The regional climate outlook for the coming rainfall season indicates increased likelihood of below to near normal rainfall over much of the Horn of Africa region.
According to FAO, although the situation in the drought-affected areas of the Horn of Africa has improved significantly in recent months, it is estimated there are 8.1 million people still in need of assistance (Ethiopia: 3.2 million; Kenya: 2.2 million; Somalia: 2.5 million; Djibouti 180 000).
FAO's total appeal for 2012 amounts to US$293.7 million for a strategic blend of emergency and longer term development operations in the Horn of Africa.
Of this, US$101.7 million, less than half, has been received, leaving a funding gap of US$193.9 million, of which US$50 million are urgently needed in the next 90 days.
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