UN: WFP, FAO partner on food insecurity in southern Madagascar

New York, US (PANA) - The Emergency Coordinator of the World Food Programme (WFP), Denise Brown, and the Emergency and Rehabilitation Division Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Dominique Burgeon, have began a week-long joint mission to Madagascar to address teh food insecurity in southern part of the country.

A joint FAO and WFP statement obtained by PANA in New York on Thursday. said that the aim of the joint mission is to urgently define measures to support the food security of drought-affected households in the Anosy, Androy and Atsimo Andrefana regions of southern Madagascar.

"In these regions, more than 1.4 million people are food insecure including 600,000 people who are considered as severely food insecure and who are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

"This situation mainly stems from the impact of a recurrent drought which has affected three consecutive cropping seasons (2013 to 2016), and which was aggravated this year by the El Nino phenomenon," it noted.

It disclosed that, the joint mission will include meetings with vulnerable communities in the districts of Ambovombe and Tsihombe, which are among the most severely affected and a review of ongoing assistance activities as well as the need of additional ones to be implemented by FAO and WFP, together with other partners.

The statement said since the beginning of 2016, general food distribution efforts have targeted some 300, 000 people in Madagascar’s seven most affected districts, stating that, "in areas where markets are functioning, cash-based-transfer programmes have been put into place for 80,000 people in order to enable them to buy food."

"Supplementary feeding is provided to 70,000 pregnant and lactating women and children under five for treatment of moderate to acute malnutrition.

"Additionally, as part of efforts to restore agricultural activities, high quality and drought-resistant seeds and agricultural inputs have been provided to some 100,000 farmers," it said.

Moumini Ouedraogo, WFP Representative in Madagascar, said: "WFP and FAO are providing emergency support to populations in need, and the assistance will be accompanied by longer-term activities to improve community resilience, hence the importance of strengthening collaboration with all partners."

On her part, Patrice Talla, FAO Representative in Madagascar, stated: "The implementation of the Zero Hunger approach effectively requires massive investment and coordination on the part of all stakeholders.The challenge being faced is huge and strong political will is required in order to prevent the situation from getting worse."

During a visit to the Madagascar in late August 2016, FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva helped raise awareness about the situation and urged the international community to provide urgent assistance to affected populations in southern of Madagascar.

The FAO chief also added: "Thousands of vulnerable people in southern Madagascar cannot afford to wait any longer to receive emergency aid."
-0-  PANA  AA  22Sept2016

22 september 2016 19:05:41

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