FAO appeals for $172mn to avert humanitarian catastrophe in Horn of Africa

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The UN’s Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has appealed for $172 million in assistance to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the Horn of Africa region…reports Asian Lite News

In a statement, FAO said it needs $219 million to prevent a deterioration of food security conditions in the region, but only $47 million of the needed funds have been mobilised so far, reports Xinhua news agency.

FAO’s statement highlighted the funds appeal is in particular focused on four drought epicenters in the region: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

The UN body is appealing for the funds to deal with the humanitarian needs of almost five million rural people across the four countries.

“While the funds received thus far will provide life-saving livelihoods assistance through cash and livelihood packages, including animal health and infrastructure rehabilitation to approximately 700,000 people, millions more can be reached if the plan is fully funded,” the FAO statement said.

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Drought conditions particularly across many parts of the Horn of Africa region are crippling food production, depleting pastures, disrupting markets, and even causing widespread human and animal deaths, it added.

“Agricultural livelihoods are hugely underfunded in humanitarian responses, even in droughts when agriculture bears 80 percent of the impact,” said Rein Paulsen, Director of the FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience.

“Business as usual is no longer an option. It’s time to properly invest in more efficient and forward looking assistance. This must be linked to long-term development assistance”.

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