N'Djamena - FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva this week undertook his first ever official visit to Chad as part of urgent efforts to draw the attention of the international community on the current food security crisis threatening the Lake Chad Basin region.
Graziano da Silva on Thursday met Chad's Prime Minister, Albert Pahimi Padacke, and presented him with FAO's Response Strategy for the Lake Chad Basin crisis which is affecting parts of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and northeastern Nigeria.
"This region has received little attention so far, compared to other conflict zones such as Yemen, Syria or South Sudan. If we don't act now before the planting season, which begins next month, we will continue to face a risk of famine. This is the last opportunity we have to take a preventive action in this heavily stressed region of Africa. There is a conflict in this zone that makes the situation worse, but if we act now we can avoid a humanitarian disaster from happening," the FAO Director-General said.
The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to the FAO Director-General for the visit to Chad and welcomed FAO's Lake Chad Basin crisis response strategy. He thanked FAO for the continuous assistance and partnership in agriculture and rural development. The topic of water infrastructure in Chad was also discussed.
The FAO Director-General also met Asseid Gamar Sileck, Minister of Production, Irrigation and Farm Equipment; Abderahim Younous Ali, Minister of Livestock and Animal Production; and Brah Mahamat, Minister of Environment and Fisheries.
"Currently, we face more problems and demands than available resources to help in the context of the Country Programming Framework (CPF). To date, we have been able to mobilize less than $5 million dollars out of the needed $73 million. I am committed to advocate with the resource partners on the critical importance of supporting agriculture, which is the main source of livelihood for 80 percent of those affected by the crisis. he told the ministers.
Graziano da Silva offered support in the preparation of the CAADP-COMPACT Donors Round Table, in Paris, next September.
"FAO and its Investments Center has the technical expertise in project formulation and design of bankable projects with development banks; we will await the government's signal that we can move in that direction," concluded Graziano.
On Friday the FAO Director-General is scheduled to visit Maiduguri, in northeastern Nigeria, where some of the populations most affected by the Lake Chad Basin crisis live. There he will review the situation with stakeholders and witness FAO's emergency and resilience building efforts on farms.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations