Last December 2018, the Russian Federation has donated $3 million to help the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provide conflict-affected farmers and herders in Syria with critical livelihood and nutrition support. This is the first FAO emergency project funded by Russia. The donation will enable FAO to support 60,000 vulnerable households (or 360,000 farmers and herders) in the area of Aleppo, who were severely impacted by the crisis, and restore their production capacity as well as improve their food security and nutrition. The funding agreement was signed at FAO headquarters in Rome by Daniel Gustafson, FAO Deputy Director-General for Programs, and Victor Vasiliev, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation. The two-year project will primarily focus on reviving the local economy, reducing poverty and improving nutrition for targeted groups. This will be achieved by assisting the most vulnerable households in boosting their vegetable crops, fruit and forest production and restoring irrigation infrastructure. It also entails providing access to veterinary services to prevent the outbreak and spread of contagious animal diseases and to improve livestock health, production, and productivity. In 2017, the security situation improved, allowing for recovery and resilience-building interventions to be implemented to help returnees resume their production activities and restore their livelihoods. According to a recent UN assessment, 6.5 million Syrians are currently suffering from acute food insecurity while another 4 million people are at risk of food insecurity. The protracted crisis in Syria has decimated the agricultural system which has previously played a vital role in the Syrian national economy, contributing about 20-25 percent of the country’s GDP. Production levels are at an all-time low, impacting not only the availability of food, but also the incomes of almost half of Syria’s workforce who were once dependant on agriculture for employment. In 2018, FAO continued to support food insecure families in Syria to increase life-saving agricultural and livestock production.

Source: FAO
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