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Monday, July 25, 2016

UN agencies jointly take stock of El Niño impacts in Africa, Asia-Pacific, gear up for La Niña

Three United Nations (UN) agencies recently jointly took stock of the “Long tail” of global weather phenomenon continuing to affect food security of millions – La Niña knock-on likely effects, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A press statement by the trio of FAO’s media relations officer, Mr. Peter Mayer, IFAD Communications Officer, Joanne Levitan and WFP Media officer, Frances Kennedy, said the 2015-16 El Niño weather phenomenon has been one of the strongest and most widespread of the past hundred years, destroying the livelihoods of farming families across the globe and leaving millions of people hungry.

Drought, they said, has gripped large swathes of East and southern Africa, ravaging harvests, while in Asia and the Pacific, drought has hit East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam, whereas, El Niño associated storms have wiped out harvests on Fiji and its neighbours.

NaijaAgroNet reports that El Niño’s impact on agriculture has continued to drive up food insecurity, even though the weather event is over, which is likely to be compounded by La Niña in a few months’ time.

Response plans, the UN agencies said, were in place that could prevent more people from going hungry – but they must be adequately funded to avoid another prolonged humanitarian crisis.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that on Wednesday 6 July, FAO, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) – are convening a one-day meeting to look at these challenges and how to best respond to them.

Government representatives, regional bodies, food security experts, agricultural development practitioners, humanitarian response specialists and international donors were in attendance.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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