WFP / EL NIÑO HUNGER

05-Nov-2015 00:02:39
World Food Programme (WFP) warns that the ongoing El Niño weather phenomenon could affect the food security of a large number of already vulnerable people in Central America, most of Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. WFP
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STORY: WFP / EL NINO HUNGER
TRT: 02:39
SOURCE: WFP /FILE
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: SHONA / ENGLISH / NATS
DATELINE: 4 NOVEMBER 2015, ROME, ITALY / RECENT
SHOTLIST
WFP - 29 OCTOBER, 2015, SASULA DISTRICT, ZIMBABWE

1. Wide shot, farm field
2. Various shots, women working in the field
3. SOUNDBITE (Shona) Priscilla Mudyanavana, 36 years old farmer and mother of four
“This season was very hard because of lack of rain. We hoped there would be rain for our fields but there was none.”

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY – 23 JUNE 2015, KOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA

4. Various shots, launch of Sentinel 2 satellite from the Europe’s spaceport
5. Various shots, animation of Sentinel 2 in orbit gathering data

WFP - 4 NOVEMBER 2015, ROME, ITALY

6. SOUNDBITE (Englsih) Rogerio Bonifacio, VAM (Vulnerability Assessments and Mapping) Officer, WFP:
“This year’s el Niño is likely to be one of the worst on record. What it will do is to push a lot of people who are on edge in a way, and it will push them into a status where they will need assistance from WFP and that is going to happen at a large geographical scale from Central America, to southern Africa to East Africa and that is going to push our capacity to respond to new levels. ”

WFP - 14 OCTOBER, 2015, JOWHAR, SOMALIA

7. Various shots, Convoy of WFP trucks driving in desert-like area
8. Various shots, men unloading sacks from tracks

WFP - 18 OCTOBER 2015, RIVER SHEBELLE, SOMALIA

9. Wide shot, people putting a boat in water
10. Wide shot, people boarding boats
11. Zoom out, boat leaving
12. Wide shot, boat on the river

WFP - 25 AUGUST 2015, SAN ANTONIO ILOTENANGO, GUATEMALA

13. Wide shot, crops by the road
14. Med shot, man praying in the church
15. Various shots, religious procession – praying for rain
STORYLINE
World Food Programme (WFP) warns that the ongoing El Niño weather phenomenon could affect the food security of a large number of already vulnerable people in Central America, most of Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.

WFP says at least 1.5 million people are estimated to be facing food insecurity in Zimbabwe following a poor harvest in April caused by prolonged drought during the growing season.

The south of the country has been particularly badly affected. Farmers, like Priscilla Mudyanavana are preparing to plant their crops this month, but they fear that the El Niño will bring yet another season of drought.

SOUNDBITE (Shona) Priscilla Mudyanavana, 36 years old farmer and mother of four
“This season was very hard because of lack of rain. We hoped there would be rain for our fields but there was none.”

To better prepare for possible emergency, the WFP is planning to use data from the European Space Agency’s polar-orbiting satellite Sentinel-2, to monitor the effects of climactic changes in agricultural and pastoral areas .

This will help WFP plan and respond to climactic events and conditions that can cause poor harvests and hunger. Designed as a two-satellite mission, Sentinel-2 will provide imagery on a five-day revisit cycle once its twin, Sentinel-2B, is launched in 2016.

Launched on 23 June 2015, from the Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana, Sentinel 2 is equipped to provide multispectral high-resolution imaging of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas. Its camera sensor has been designed to detect very specific wavelengths of light that detail the health of plants.

In Somalia, El Nino has triggered drought in north western Somalia, and is expected to cause massive flooding in the southern and central areas. Somaliland is already seeing one of the driest years in memory: severe shortages of food and water, and the deaths of livestock of herders have plunged over 10,000 families into destitution. Ahead of expected flooding, WFP is currently pre-positioning food, including High Energy Biscuits, and nutrition products in the main areas expected to see an influx of people, among them Beletweyne, Jowhar, Balcad and Afgoye.

In Central America’s countries Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua in 2014 causing significant losses, especially in the “Dry Corridor” – a drought-prone area shared by the four countries.

In 2015, another dry spell, exacerbated by El Niño caused significant harvest losses for small producers. More than 65 percent of households in the Dry Corridor had no food stocks left by the start of the 2015 Primera season. An Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) carried out by WFP and partners between May and July 2015 reported that some 4.2 million people have been affected by the current drought and approximately 2.3 million are food insecure. Guatemala reported losses between 50 percent and 100 percent for maize and beans in the Dry Corridor. According to FAO, this corresponds to a loss of US$82.6 million in maize production. Honduras reported a 96 percent loss in maize, 87 percent in beans, and a 19 percent decrease in the amount of sorghum produced in the Dry Corridor.

The current El Niño is one of the strongest on the record and its impact on food security illustrates the need to increase investment in disaster risk reduction, early warning, climate change adaptation and resilience building.

El Niño refers to a pattern of unusually warm water stretching across the surface of the Pacific Ocean. It occurs every 3-7 years. During an El Niño event, the relationship between winds and ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean changes, modifying weather conditions around the world. The resulting changes in rainfall and temperature affect crop and pasture development across many of the areas where WFP works.

An El Niño event has been active since March 2015 and is strengthening as it approaches its maximum intensity in late 2015, before subsiding in early 2016. There are indications it could become one of the most intense El Niños of the past 30 years.
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