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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

FAO, IFAD, WFP host joint high-level meeting on El Nino impact

The rise on impact of El Niño climate devastation on agriculture in the Central America’s Dry Corridor has forced the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to organize a high-level meeting in Rome, tomorrow, June 30, 2016, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Central America, NaijaAgroNet gathered has become one of the worst droughts zones in decades leaving some 3.5 million people food insecure, with most affected countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras having estimated 2.8 million people who are dependent on food aid.

The high-level meeting in Rome, NaijaAgroNet reports, would focus on the urgent need for long-term action to address the impact of El Niño, including building resilience for food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable populations in the affected countries.

NaijaAgroNet further gathered that El Niño and its counterpart La Niña occur cyclically, but in recent years, mainly due to the effects of global climate change, extreme weather events associated with these phenomena, such as droughts and floods, have increased in frequency and severity.

As said by FAO’s Peter Mayer, IFAD’s Joanne Levitan, and WFP’s Frances Kennedy, in a joint press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, this situation has put at risk the livelihoods of millions of small-scale family farmers in the Dry Corridor, many of whom are heavily dependent on subsistence agriculture.

The trio equally clarified that the aim of the high-level meeting is to increase awareness of and the response to, this protracted and recurrent crisis, and to mobilize the international community to support the efforts of governments, UN agencies and other partners.

This includes strengthening of early warning systems, disaster risk management, and improving preparedness and coordination for emergency responses at national and regional levels.

In addition to relief work, they said, responding to the impacts of El Niño requires investing in improving poor rural communities’ ability to access land, credit and other resources while also ensuring they are provided with basic services like water, sanitation, health, education, transport infrastructure and electricity.  

Just as the FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, and World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, would deliver the opening remarks, while the meeting would include a roundtable session with ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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