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Fao: 70% of those in need of assistance work in agriculture

Nevertheless, only 4% of humanitarian interventions are destined for this sector /Video

Statements by Rein Paulsen, director of the United Nations agency's Office for Emergencies and Resilience.

The pandemic, climate change, biodiversity loss and wars are four of the most significant factors in worsening food security around the world. This was underlined by Rein Paulsen (photo), director of the Office for emergencies and resilience of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

In an interview with the FAO communications office, the executive highlighted that "70%" of the "people in need of humanitarian assistance are found in rural areas", therefore they are primarily "farmers" or "fishermen". Nonetheless, "only 4% of all humanitarian funding earmarked for protracted emergency contexts supports agriculture."

Paulsen also recalled the joint appeal of various United Nations agencies - the Global Humanitarian Overview - launched at the end of last year, in support of about 230 million people around the world.

In concrete terms, helping damaged farmers means, for example, giving them resources such as “seeds, tools and technical assistance to enable them to plant for the next season. It means - explained the FAO executive - keeping animals alive during a period of drought or during the winter", which is already done "through the supply of emergency animal feed" and also with "veterinary assistance" .

One of the places where FAO has intervened most systematically is Afghanistan, where last year alone the organization, with the collaboration of about 21 executive partners, directly supported more than 6 million rural Afghans with urgent interventions. Among them: cash subsidies to "marginalized families who don't even have access to much of the land"; interventions on "animal proteins", especially with regard to chickens; grain seeds for $220 to produce a twelve-month grain requirement.

In conclusion, Paulsen recalls the role played by FAO in supporting the countries affected by the "great desert locust epidemic that has affected a large part of the Horn of Africa, East Africa and neighboring areas": an intervention that cost "about 230 million dollars,” which “saved at least $1.8 billion in crop losses”.

Another important intervention, carried out in an area of conflict, was that in Tigray and throughout Ethiopia. “The farmers of Tigray, with the support of the FAO and others – underlined the manager – have produced 900,000 tons of food; that is, the equivalent of 6-7 months of the food requirement of that region of the world”.

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EFA News - European Food Agency