FAO warns of the risk of a double tragedy in the Philippines

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Funds are urgently needed to help farmers clear their land and plant their crops.

Immediate assistance from the international community for Philippine farmers is critical to avoid a double tragedy befalling rural survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

And the UN food agency is calling on the donor community to urgently step forward and provide more than $11 million to get money to rural people to help clean and clear agricultural land and de-silt irrigation canals in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the typhoon.

FAO says the Philippine Department of Agriculture has requested its support in a cash-for-work scheme, covering more than 150 000 hectares and some 80 kilometres of communal irrigation canals.

The call for assistance is in addition to the $20 million already requested by FAO to help typhoon-affected farmers plant, fertilize, irrigate and maintain their crops to ensure the next harvests in 2014.

Senior Officer in charge of FAO's programme in the Philippines Rodrigue Vinet warns "We are in a race against time," adding, "There is an immediate need for resources to help farmers clear their land and plant their crops. Therefore, we need to make the required purchases now and provide substantial resources directly to farmers to help them through this period."

FAO is calling on the international donor community to recognize the urgency of the situation and contribute to the government's efforts in meeting this critical recovery initiative without delay.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’26′

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