Farmers, herders, fishers and foresters are the most insecure people with high levels of food insecurity and one of the best ways to prevent famine is to grow food where it is needed. The statement comes from Food and Agriculture Organisation that called for urgent action to prevent famine in 2021.
The FAO stated that Famine prevention must begin in the rural areas where the most vulnerable live. The focus should be growing food in these regions where it is needed most, “There is a window of opportunity to stabilize and increase local food production to prevent famine from breaking out. But we must act now,” the FAO said.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation said that the number of people under acute food insecurity remained persistently above 100 million over the last four years. In 2021, the world Food organsation states that a mix of pre-existing threats like conflict, climate shocks, and economic disruptions compounded by the COVID-19 has hit heavily and, pushed millions of people into deepening levels of acute hunger.
It said that people in Ethiopia, southern Madagascar, South Sudan, and Yemen are in enduring famine-like or “famine-likely conditions. The FAO mentions that another dry spell, climate shock or outbreak of animal disease would rick more than 34 million people of food insecurity. It mentioned that another 142 million people are expected to move into at least crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity in 40 countries.
The FAO calls for a twin-track approach in urgent life saving humanitarian action is required to prevent vulnerable communities from falling into a hunger catastrophe and avert widespread famine from breaking out in 2021. As part of the drive, the FAO, the UN Secretary General, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the World Food Programme have come together.
The FAO said that its focus is on livelihoods interventions that allow at risk communities to produce food for their families and communities. It also focuses on reducing the need for food aid and avoid sell-offs of productive assets to buy food to survive.
LOCAL AND BACKYARD PRODUCTION
“In cut-off, highly inaccessible areas and isolated rural areas, the critical role of local and backyard food production in keeping families alive cannot be underemphasized. The importance of sustaining livestock cannot be overstated,” The FAO said. For a family on the edge, just one cup of milk a day can make the difference between life and death. In such situations, backyard food production represents a firewall between survival and the worst-case scenario, the FAO added.