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Addressing urgent needs in war-affected regions

Addressing urgent needs in war-affected regions
Addressing urgent needs in war-affected regions

The war in Ukraine has a significant impact on food security at both national and global levels. Without urgent support to the Ukrainian agrifood sector, humanitarian needs will escalate, posing a continued threat to the stability of global food value chains. In response to this critical situation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stands uniquely positioned in Ukraine to implement a comprehensive and innovative response program, aiming to sustain and restore agrifood systems on a large scale.

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, FAO leads international efforts to eradicate hunger and achieve global food security. Operating in over 130 countries with 195 members worldwide, FAO is committed to ensuring regular access to high-quality food, promoting active and healthy lives. Aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), FAO's dedication notably extends to SDGs 1 (No poverty), 2 (No hunger), and 10 (Reduced inequalities).

With the Ukrainian agriculture sector rapidly contracting due to the war, FAO allocates over $10 million to safeguard rural livelihoods. Smallholder farmers, facing urgent challenges, are the focal point of the emergency seed support project—a crucial initiative within FAO's broader efforts. This project specifically targets approximately 3,600 smallholder farmers in conflict-affected regions, providing seed support to protect livelihoods and restore disrupted agricultural value chains.

The FAO Ukraine Rapid Response Plan (RRP) for May–December 2022 aims to assist nearly 1 million rural individuals by maintaining critical food production systems, supporting agrifood supply chains, and conducting evidence-based analyses of evolving food security.

By the close of 2022, FAO mobilized USD 102.2 million, constituting 57 percent of the required funding. Contributions came from diverse sources, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, the European Union, and the United States. These funds supported the FAO Grain Storage Support Strategy (GSSS) and the Rapid Response Plan (RRP) 2022, leaving a funding gap of USD 78.2 million.

Funds allocated to the RRP empowered FAO to reach around 40,000 rural households, extending emergency agricultural support to 100,000 people. This included the distribution of vegetable seeds, seed potatoes, and multipurpose cash assistance. Vulnerable rural households in Dnipropetrovska, Khersonska, and Zaporizka oblasts received targeted aid, addressing damages and losses estimated at an average of USD 483 per household through FAO's flexible cash program.

As of March 2023, FAO is diligently progressing towards completing the distribution of the remaining 30,000 polyethylene grain sleeves and 105 sets of grain loading and unloading machinery to local agricultural producers. These ongoing initiatives underscore FAO's unwavering commitment to sustaining and restoring agrifood systems, addressing immediate needs within war-affected rural populations.

In the face of global challenges, FAO's commitment showcases not just its own strength but also the collective power of global teamwork. Even in tough times, FAO stands as a symbol of resilience and determination, pointing the way to a more secure and sustainable future.

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Youtube credits: @UNFAO


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