Thursday, June 30, 2016

UN highlights risk reduction, mitigation to combat El Niño’s impact in Central America’s Dry Corridor

The international community must take urgent action to help build resilience, food security, and restore livelihoods in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which are impacted by drought and other extreme-weather effects of the El Niño phenomenon, senior United Nations officials today said.

“We need to a focus on resilience, inclusive sustainable development, and climate change adaptation,” said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), at a high-level meeting at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

He called for changing the traditional response strategy from mounting a humanitarian response to each emergency, to tackling the structural causes of poverty and food insecurity.

The focus of the meeting is Central America’s Dry Corridor, where El Niño has led to one of the worst droughts in decades with 3.5 million people food insecure. Of that figure, 1.6 million is moderately or severely food insecure. The situation is also putting at risk the livelihoods of millions of small-scale family farmers in the Dry Corridor, many of whom are heavily dependent on subsistence agriculture.

Organized by FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the The Dry Corridor: Impacts and Priorities for Long Term Action to Build Resilience for Food Security and Nutrition event emphasized building resilience for food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable populations in the affected countries, and included a round-table session with ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.

In his remarks, Mr. Graziano da Silva noted that the strategic alliance between the three Rome-based UN organizations as well as South-South cooperation efforts will be fundamental to eradicating hunger and poverty in the Dry Corridor, adding that the scale of the challenge requires the support of the entire international community.

Also speaking at the event was IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, who highlighted the importance of responding to the immediate needs of people suffering as a result of El Niño.......

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