UN food agency sounds alarm on ‘overlooked crises’

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization launched a USD 120 million appeal for “the world’s most severely underfunded crises”, in Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan and elsewhere.

Without urgent support “there is a real risk of the situation further deteriorating in these affected areas in the second half of 2018, with rising hunger and humanitarian needs,” the Rome-based FAO said in a statement.

The underfunded emergencies identified include drought in Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria, a severe monsoon season in Bangladesh, a resurgence of violence in the Central African Republic, the upcoming hurricane season in Haiti, and “lean seasons” in Iraq, Myanmar and the Sahel.

“For these critically underfunded crises, FAO urgently requires USD 120 million to reach 3.6 million people in the remainder of the year,” the FAO said.

The UN agency added that it had received less than 30 per cent of the USD 1 billion requested at the beginning of the year to meet the urgent needs of 33 million people worldwide.

The planned emergency response in the affected countries would include provision of crop and vegetable seeds, farming tools and animal feed and vaccinations as well as repair of water infrastructure, improved soil and water management and cash transfers. “We need to act now to provide urgent food security and livelihood interventions to save people’s lives, safeguard livelihoods and strengthen their resilience in the face of future crises,” said Dominique Burgeon, head of FAO’s emergency programme.

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