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UN seeks $1.06 billion to create ‘firewall against famine’

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Ongoing conflicts and climate-related shocks have left millions of people on the brink of starvation, the United Nations agriculture agency warned on Thursday as it launched a $1.06 billion appeal to save lives and livelihoods, and tackle acute hunger in 26 countries.

“The reality is that while the lives of millions of people were saved thanks to rapid humanitarian response in 2017, millions more remain on the very edge of starvation,” Dominique Burgeon, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Emergency and Rehabilitation Division said Thursday.

“Maintaining food production and rebuilding agriculture are fundamental to preventing loss of life from severe hunger and to providing a pathway towards resilience in the midst of humanitarian crises,” he added.

With donor support, FAO hopes to employ a range of interventions to rapidly restore local food production and enhance nutrition for over 30 million agriculture-reliant people, to include by providing seeds, tools and other materials for crop farming.

Climate-related shocks are escalating humanitarian needs, which are largely caused by persist and intensified violence and conflict.

“This is why FAO focuses on transforming vulnerability into resilience – so that when something bad happens families are better able to cope and feed themselves, people don’t have to sell off their assets or flee, and communities can rebuild more quickly after the crisis passes,” Mr. Burgeon elaborated.