FAO rallies global support against Horn of Africa hunger

13:23, July 26, 2011      

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The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday rallied global support for tackling the famine in the Horn of Africa that is affecting some 12 million people in the region.

At an emergency meeting held here, UN member nations and international organizations decided to launch immediately a twin-track program designed to avert an imminent humanitarian catastrophe and build long-term food security in the area.

According to the FAO, the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, triggered by several combined factors including drought, conflict and high food prices, is set to worsen unless concrete actions are taken, especially in two regions of southern Somalia suffering from famine.

"All this has created a catastrophic situation that urgently requires massive international support," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

"If we want to avoid future famine and food insecurity crises in the region, countries and the international community urgently need to bolster the agricultural sector and accelerate investments in rural development," he warned.

The action plan agreed at the meeting is focused on supporting the livelihoods, economic activities and agriculture of the affected populations, while at the same time encouraging workers mobility.

The program also envisages measures to ensure food safety and humanitarian assistance in the wake of regional instability so as to reduce the persisting hunger and malnutrition.

Special focus was given also to food price stability.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Agriculture, said that the crisis highlighted the need for "urgent implementation of the action plan on food price volatility and agriculture adopted by G20 agriculture ministers in June, notably regarding international policy coordination, agricultural production and productivity and targeted emergency humanitarian food reserves."

Source:Xinhua
 
 
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