Addis Abeba – With the increasing risk of famine in the Horn of Africa due to severe and prolonged drought conditions, urgent life-saving and livelihood assistance is needed to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today.
As the peak of the crisis fast approaches, FAO launched a revised Rapid Response and Mitigation Plan, which exclusively focuses on four drought epicentres across the region: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
The time frame for the new plan has been extended from June to December 2022 with the aim of preventing a deterioration in food security conditions in the region, saving the livelihoods and therefore the lives of almost five million rural people across the four countries.
FAO is appealing for a total of $219 million. So far, the UN Agency has mobilized around $47 million, leaving a gap of $172 million.
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.
“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”. Dispatch