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Aid Needed For Iraqi Goat and Sheep Farmers

11 November 2014

IRAQ – Hostilities in Iraq have left thousands of herders and shepherds displaced and in ‘dire need’ of support with millions at risk of malnutrition.

Recent troubles threaten individual farm livelihoods but also national food security, with the June harvest ‘severely compromised’ and 2.8 million people in need of food assistance.

Land has been seized and crops destroyed during the conflict, with many herdsman forced to flee from home.

This is according to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation which has put a $38.5 million price tag on safeguarding livestock and human lives.

Charity efforts have already delivered feed and farm goods aid to over 28,000 farming families.

Escalating conflict dampened harvest prospects this summer after strong growth and yields.

Several grain silos have fallen under control of the so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” fighters.

“If not addressed in time, this will translate into longer-term reliance on food aid and other forms of aid," said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa.

“Millions of vulnerable Iraqis are in dire need of help to restore their self-sufficiency and build resilience,” he added.

FAO representative in Iraq, Fadel El Zubi said: "This is an important step, but the needs are immense and we are facing a $38 million shortfall in terms of what is needed to prevent a further collapse of agriculture.

“Thousands more farmers still need assistance. Failure to provide that help in a timely manner will have major and lasting repercussions on the agriculture sector and the food security of millions of Iraqis.”

Picture Courtesy of FAO

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms.

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