15 April 2016 - When living conditions for households along the conflict line in Eastern Ukraine went from bad to worse, help came from the Government of Canada. The allocation of CDN 3 million will bolster and extend FAO’s emergency response and recovery work in the area.

This assistance from Canada, due to start in the coming weeks, will come in the form of farming necessities and technical guidance on marketing and cooperative action by farmers.

Although considered mainly an industrial zone, the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are home to thousands of families who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Ninety percent of the vegetables grown here come from family-owned and operated farms. The ongoing conflict and its side effects – lost or reduced incomes, rising prices, lack of access to credit, expensive transport – have imposed severe hardship on these people.

According to FAO data, the number of households in need almost tripled during 2015, with those families in urgent need of lasting solutions to secure their livelihoods.

“The generous support from Canada is key to supporting agriculture production and food security in the conflict area," said Raimund Jehle, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia.

The new Canada-financed intervention will directly target more than 14 thousand small farming households. Distribution of fodder and animals (poultry and rabbit) will be concentrated in the areas of the ongoing conflict and high insecurity. Vegetable and potato seeds will be distributed in areas where the government is providing safety and security guarantees, along with training activities to strengthen farmer cooperation.

FAO’s targeted and sustainable approach will foster the restart of meat production and improve food production on arable land through the livestock and feed packages and high-quality seeds. Over the course of two years, a training series will help farm families cooperate with other agricultural producers in the region, exploring opportunities for joint purchase of the farming inputs and packaging, labelling and marketing of produce.

The needs and priorities of internally displaced persons and conflict-affected women – groups that are considered especially vulnerable – will be researched in the project’s target areas during the early stages of the project.

FAO currently is implementing more than a dozen projects in Ukraine, addressing agriculture-related issues in support to overall development of the sector.

13 April 2016, Kramatorsk, Ukraine

LINKS:

FAO report: Ukraine’s Donbass farm families living on the edge

www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/357207/icode/

Video: Harvesting under fire in Eastern Ukraine

www.fao.org/emergencies/resources/videos/video-detail/en/c/357524/

Layer-broiler chickens going to small farms hurt by conflict in eastern Ukraine

www.fao.org/europe/news/detail-news/en/c/326305/

Norway helps Ukraine put its new agriculture strategy in motion

www.fao.org/europe/news/detail-news/en/c/382729/

FAO in the 2016 humanitarian appeals

www.fao.org/emergencies/appeals/2016/en/

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

SHARON LEE COWAN

Senior Communication Officer

FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Budapest, Hungary

sharonlee.cowan@fao.org

Tel.: +36 1 8141 253

Mobile: +36 30 571 7988