EU gives €5.9m to FAO-led efforts in Yemen

EU gives €5.9m to FAO-led efforts in Yemen

Washington Post photo by Sudarsan Raghavan

As the fragile peace in holds in Yemen, where 20 million people risk famine, the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organisation have unveiled new EU funding of €5.9 million to support the UN agency's work to build the country's capacity to monitor threats to food security and collect key data on hunger and malnutrition, FAO said on Tuesday.

"Availability of reliable and timely data not only means we can respond better when crises impact food security, as is the case now - it is also the foundation on which the government, humanitarian and development agencies can build up people's resilience, to withstand future food insecurity," said FAO's Country Representative in Yemen, Salah El Hajj Hassan.

"Unfortunately, trends indicate that recurrent hazards and shocks will continue to threaten Yemen. But, if we support people to build up their resilience, they will be better positioned to cope with these adversities, thus averting the threat of hunger and humanitarian crises," he added.

The severity and magnitude of food insecurity in Yemen is putting an immense pressure on the majority of the population who are in dire need of (humanitarian) aid, said the European Union Ambassador for Yemen, Antonia Calvo Puerta.

"The availability of nutrition information and food security will allow an appropriate and efficient response by the international community to the crisis and prevent further deterioration. Thus, the EU is confident that this renewed collaboration with FAO will benefit the Yemeni population at a large scale," he stated.

FAO support will be provided to different government institutions including the Governorate Focal Units, Food Security Technical Secretariat of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Yemen's lead agency for collecting and channelling food security information to other government institutions, development partners, donors and communities, the UN agency said.

The support will include training on food security, livelihood and nutrition, market information, Geographic Information System and remote sensing. This will enable the review of agriculture and food security sector policies and strategies, data base management and statistical analysis, Integrated Phase Classification analysis and Early Warning data collection.

The project will provide ICT and other equipment as well as training to improve staff skills. Local teams will be established to collect data and information on agriculture, livestock, crop, meteorological data, nutrition, disease outbreaks, market and other food security data in rural and urban areas, FAO said.

These efforts will build on the EU-FAO's successful experience in strengthening the capacity of local food security data-collection units in 13 governorates during the 2013-2018 period.

The new EU funding will now allow extending the support to the nine remaining governorates, ensuring the establishment of the Governorate Focal Units and Food Security Information System across all of Yemen.

The FAO-EU agreement for this next phase of work was formally finalized and signed on 31 January 2019.

TAG: EU, FAO, Yemen, funds