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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Agriculture, lifeline for millions of Syrians war victims


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has urged countries attending an international pledging conference for Syria to invest in agriculture as an engine of stabilization and recovery, reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO Deputy Director-General for Programmes, Daniel Gustafson told NaijaAgroNet in a statement that despite significant setbacks, agriculture continues to sustain almost half of the food supply in Syria, serving as a lifeline for millions vulnerable Syrians.

"This is a powerful testimony of the resilience of the people of Syria and of the agriculture sector,"  "Without additional assistance to the agriculture sector and to resilience programmes in rural areas, food insecurity will continue to rise as well as migration, and stability will remain elusive," he said.   

"We must address the root causes of the vulnerabilities that have contributed to exacerbating the crisis and their impacts. These include in particular the urban-rural gap in poverty and access to social services, escalating water scarcity and climate change which are drivers of massive rural unemployment and migration," Gustafson added. "While everyone recognizes the relevance of the resilience approach in responding to the Syria crisis and the imperative of bridging humanitarian and development interventions, we continue to face major funding shortfalls".

FAO is appealing for $120 million under the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria and has received just one quarter of the total.

The European Union and the United Nations are co-chairing the pledging conference in Brussels (24-25 April) to mobilise humanitarian aid and to garner political support for the UN-led peace process. 

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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