Azerbaijan, Baku, September 11 /Trend N. Umid/
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) has allocated new funding to make life-saving food security interventions in Afghanistan more effective and timely, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced during a press release.
The Afghanistan Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) has recently secured funding to fund its operations until the end of 2013.
FSAC is a forum that brings together over 150 national and international NGOs, UN agencies and government authorities to coordinate their live-saving food security interventions. It is led by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, and co-chaired by Islamic Relief. The secretariat is located at the FAO.
"ECHO is a key partner for humanitarian partners working in food security in Afghanistan. Its contribution for FSAC will fund critical activities for coordination", FAO representative in Afghanistan, Ousmane Guindo said.
Such activities include, among others, a nation-wide survey of food security needs in all 34 provinces, or the promotion of better gender and protection measures in food security interventions.
"Through FSAC, food security partners are currently coordinating their response to the dry spell in Ghor province. The ECHO funding will strengthen coordination and synergies between FSAC members, and help ensure that live-saving assistance reaches people that need it most in a timely manner", WFP's Head of Programme, Mutinta Chimuka said.
FSAC Coordinator Cyril Lekiefs stated that, "So far in 2013, FSAC members have mobilized more than US$ 90 million of humanitarian aid to provide critical goods and services to people in need, such as food, animal fodder and vaccines, seeds, fertilizer, tools or trainings. 1.5 % of this amount goes to FSAC to ensure that activities are well coordinated. This is crucial for the aid to be distributed efficiently."
This specific ECHO funding amounts to EUR 700,000 and complements funds already granted to FSAC by WFP and USAID/OFDA.
The European Union as a whole, including ECHO, is the world's main source of public humanitarian funding.
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