EYEAFRICA TV: Rome, ITALY:- As the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict and climate-related crises drive acute levels of hunger higher, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is seeking $1.1 billion in 2021 to save the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s most food-insecure people.
In 2021, FAO is aiming to reach more than 48.9 million people who rely on agriculture for their survival and livelihoods through interventions aimed at boosting local food production and nutrition.
According to FAO’s latest data, country after country has recorded new food insecurity figures and the total number of people who experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels in 2020 is expected to exceed 2019’s high of 135 million people.
“The shocks of the past year will reverberate long into 2021 and beyond, and we need to urgently scale up actions to avert a worst-case scenario,” said Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO’s Emergencies and Resilience Division.
Hundreds of thousands of girls, boys, women and men are at extreme risk of acute food insecurity in several countries. Many are living in conflict zones where humanitarian access is restricted or challenging.
“Millions are living on the precipice – one stress or shock away from a rapid deterioration. With or without famine declarations, we need to act now,” Burgeon added.
FAO has already provided critical livelihood support to safeguard the livelihoods of over 24 million people against the socio‑economic impacts of COVID-19. Desert Locust control operations have also had an impact in the Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen where FAO has protected over 3.1 million tonnes of cereal, worth $939 million, enough to feed more than 20.8 million people for a year and protect more than 1.5 million pastoral households.
FAO’s emergency response in 2021 will focus on providing assistance to highly food-insecure communities in more than 30 countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.