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FAO, WFP and Oxfam Issue Statement on Drought in Horn of Africa

8 July 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has issued a joint statement with the World Food Programme (WFP) and Oxfam calling for humanitarian and food assistance to build food security and resiliency in the Horn of Africa, and noting the failure of the short rains in late 2010 and negative trends that threaten the long rainy season in 2011.

The statement highlights the need to build household resilience, protect productive assets, reduce the scale of emergency assistance and put in place measures to avoid similar crises. The organizations call for: emergency and sustainable food assistance; support for small farmers through access to tools, seeds, fertilizers and knowledge; and proactive policy and risk reduction and investments to address issues like climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) and management. The organizations stress the need to build on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme lead by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). It also notes that The African Union and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development, in particular, have important roles to play.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) appealed for $32 million to assist children and women in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, noting that thousands are crossing from Somalia into neighboring countries, seeking food aid. The WFP noted an expectation of up to ten million people requiring assistance due to the drought and high food prices. [The Joint Statement] [UN Press Release]