Two United Nations (UN) agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have commenced provision of seeds, hand tools and food to nearly 50,000 hungry farming families in the most food-insecure areas of the Central African Republic (CAR), NaijaAgroNet reports.
This, NaijaAgroNet gathered is being done under the ‘seed protection’ initiative of the UN in which FAO uses to provide crop and vegetable seeds, while WFP provides groundnuts, maize, rice, sorghum, and beans to the same families.
The FAO country representative Jean-Alexandre Scaglia, said that “critical we make sure families don't cope with the current scarcity by eating their seeds meant for planting”, while the WFP Central African Republic Country Director, BienvenuDjossa, said that the food provided by WFP ensures that the seeds get planted and families don't go hungry at the same time, saying, "Our support now can help people escape the vicious cycle of hunger."
It was gathered by NaijaAgroNet that the exercise is being funded by governments of Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the African Development Bank, the European Union and ECHO, the FondsBêkou, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, the Common Humanitarian Fund for the Central African Republic, UN Women, and the World Bank.
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that another 50,000 families will be supported during the second planting season in August/September, meaning 100,000 families in total (500,000 people) will be supported under the initiative this year, which is not enough as the WFP requires US$83 million to respond to the urgent needs of 1.4 million people until the end of September in CAR and in neighbouring countries hosting Central African Republic refugees, while the FAO is appealing for US$86 million to support 1.55 million people with inputs to produce crops and keep their livestock healthy, and strengthen the government's efforts to boost food security. However, there is a serious funding gap, to date only 8 percent of these requirements have been met.
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