FAO sounds alarm on overlooked emergencies where humanitarian aid is urgently needed
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Haiti and the Sahel are among most severely underfunded crises
1 August 2018, Rome - A new FAO report sounds the alarm on some of the world's most severely underfunded crises, which in the wake of new shocks require an urgent humanitarian response and emergency agricultural assistance. Without adequate funding, new challenges such as droughts, floods, lean seasons or conflicts could push millions of people into acute hunger and food insecurity, jeopardizing their well-being, lives and future, the UN agency warned.
These emergencies include: Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria hit by drought, Bangladesh affected by a severe monsoon season, a resurgence of violence in the Central African Republic, the upcoming hurricane season in Haiti, and lean seasons in Iraq, Myanmar and the Sahel.
Without urgent support to the agriculture-based livelihoods, 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. In some of these countries, funding received for livelihoods-based humanitarian action has not come close to matching needs.
Leaving no one behind
For these critically underfunded crises, FAO urgently requires $120 million to reach 3.6 million people in the remainder of the year.
Overall, FAO has received less than 30 percent of the $1 billion requested at the beginning of the year to meet the urgent needs of 33 million people worldwide. For some crises, FAO has received as little as 6 percent of requirements, leaving millions at risk of acute hunger.
"We want to highlight critical needs in these underfunded crises where our resources to act are currently extremely limited," said Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Strategic Programme Leader - Resilience. "We must ensure that no one is left behind. 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. With the support of our resource partners, we can help to avert a further deterioration of food security in some of the most neglected crises in 2018," he added.
In Syria, for example, the latest indications are that drought in some parts of the country could exacerbate the impact of years of conflict and displacement, threatening to further undermine food production. Despite significant challenges, the agriculture sector continues to sustain almost half the food supply in the country, serving as a lifeline for millions of vulnerable people.
Pastoral populations in the Sahel are particularly struggling to cope with the effects of last year's drought in addition to ongoing conflict and insecurity in the region. They require urgent assistance to protect their herds and address rising hunger.
Humanitarian needs also remain high in the Sudan, driven by a combination of high food prices, the upcoming lean season, displacement, the breakdown of livelihoods, underlying poverty and the impact of natural hazards such as drought.
FAO's emergency response in the affected countries will include provision of crop and vegetable seeds, farming tools and feed for animals, rehabilitation of water infrastructure and water points, animal vaccination campaigns and animal health treatment, improved soil and water management, cash transfers and cash for work.