ETHIOPIA – The United Nations (UN) Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has called for urgent aid to two million farmers and pastoralists affected by drought conditions in Ethiopia.
Amadou Allahoury, FAO representative in Ethiopia, said it needed 50 million USD to address the problem for the first six months of the new year as the country prepares to have 15 million people in need of food aid by 2016.
“Drought is a lack of water, either absence of rain fed or underground water, which can be solved using short cycle crops and drought resistant varieties” said Allahoury, adding that Ethiopia needed to adapt to climate change challenges.
This year’s drought has been exacerbated by a seasonal weather phenomenon called El Nino, affecting smallholder farmers and pastoralists in the East African country with its 100 million population.
FAO, in line with the Ethiopian government’s estimates, puts the number of needy for now at 10.2 million people.
The agency urged that farmers and pastoralists use climate smart agriculture, safeguard their remaining assets – including that they rehabilitate water points and destock starving animals – as a way to combat the food crisis.
“We’re getting some success, and our emergency need for the next six months is being met, but since the drought conditions could go on, we need to keep a vigilant eye,” said Allahoury.
FAO is the UN’s specialized agency for the alleviation of poverty and hunger through the promotion of agricultural development, food security, and good nutrition for all.
– Africa News Agency