Rome, Aug 7 (IANS/AKI) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation on Wednesday praised Kuwait’s “generous” and “most timely” $3 milliondonation to help 20,000 “highly vulnerable” farmers and herders boost their production and recover their livelihoods in war-torn Syria.
“We welcome this reinforced collaboration between Kuwait and FAO,” said FAO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, Abdessalam Ould Ahmed.
“This generous contribution will go a long way and it is most timely,” he added.
The Kuwaiti funds will provide seeds, irrigation kits, animal feed and support to rehabilitate their fodder crop nurseries as well as technical training. The cash will especially help female-headed farming and herding households and their extended families, FAO stated.
The conflict in Syria – now in its ninth year – coupled with the most severe drought in decades has severely weakened the country’s agricultural production. This has led to more than 6 million people facing hunger and increasingly struggling to feed their families, as well as to high food prices, the FAO statement noted.
Kuwait’s donation “will help FAO step up its efforts to support food-insecure Syrian communities and roll out activities aimed at making farming communities more resilient whilst improving their food security and nutrition,” Ould Ahmed underlined.
FAO will carry out these activities in Syria’s Daraa, As-Sweida, Deir-Ez-Zor and Hama governorates, according to the statement.
“The Government of Kuwait is committed to supporting people in need of humanitarian assistance. It is important to restore and strengthen the agricultural livelihood and food security of the Syrian people,” said Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations in Geneva.
Kuwait and FAO are increasingly working together to fight hunger and malnutrition and to aid disaster-stricken communities in the NENA region and beyond, in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, the statement said.