Nearly six thousand Afghan farming families severely affected by drought targeted for emergency assistance by Republic of Korea and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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With the approval of the Government of Afghanistan, the Republic of Korea and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have joined forces to provide emergency assistance to some 5 800 drought-affected vulnerable farming families in two of the worst drought-affected provinces, Ghor and Badghis.

Under the terms of this new agreement, rural families in the most drought-affected areas are expected to benefit from the project which will improve their food security through distribution of agriculture inputs such as certified seed and fertilizers and home gardening tools. They will also receive training on improved agriculture practices and ways to prepare for, and mitigate the effects of, climate and weather-related disasters.

The project will be implemented by FAO in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL). The project is supported by the Government of the Republic of Korea, which has provided funding of USD 1 million for its implementation.

The signing ceremony, for this project entitled “Emergency agriculture assistance to drought-affected vulnerable farmers in Ghor and Badghis”, was attended by the Senior Officials of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Afghanistan, Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Afghanistan, and FAO staff.

“Food Insecurity is one of the most pressing challenges in Afghanistan and the agricultural assistance project is expected to contribute to improved access to nutritious food as well as to better livelihoods. In addition, it will allow many to choose to stay at their hometowns who would otherwise be displaced’’, said Mr Zha Hyoung Rhee, HE the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea. ‘’I thank FAO for its prompt and timely efforts to assist the most vulnerable population, especially those who are most heavily affected by the drought’’, Mr Rhee further added.

“Our main priority is to immediately address the needs of the most food insecure families in the areas worst affected by the drought and these two provinces are indeed among the worst affected ones. Our response in these provinces will help people enhance their resilience to shocks at the places of their origin and reduce the number of internally displaced people’’, FAO’s Aryal said.

Migration a concern

The drought has been devastating for Afghanistan.More than nine million Afghans are in need of food security assistance. Rural areas have been the worst affected, as pastures have dried up, the price of fodder has increased, lands once irrigated have been dried up, and the farm animals sold. With little to nothing left, more than 220 000 rural people have migrated to larger settlements in search of relief in Western Afghanistan.

In addition to the Republic of Korea-supported project, FAO is working with other donor countries and partner organizations to support the most vulnerable and drought-affected households in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Emergency assistance includes the provision of wheat seeds, fertilizers, animal feed, and fodder seed to boost food security and equip rural families with quality agriculture inputs for the upcoming planting season as well as maintain their livestock during the harsh winter period.

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