The Dutch government has contributed $28 million to boost relief efforts by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

The UN body said Tuesday the contribution was part of an initiative to scale-up resilience-based development work in countries affected by protracted crises.
The funding agreement was signed on Monday by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Sigrid A.M. Kaag, and FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“Countries and regions affected by protracted crises are often reliant on humanitarian aid and too frequently written off as places where agricultural and rural development cannot take place at scale. Our work shows that is not true,” Qu said. “We know it can. This is why this project includes a robust learning agenda that will help capture successful case studies that can be replicated in other communities facing similar challenges”.

In Somalia, the UN said early this month 6 million people are projected to be food insecure in the coming months calling for urgent international support.

According to the UN Humanitarian agency, UNOCHA, the harvest from the April-June cropping season is the worst since 2011 because of poor and erratic rains, followed by flooding at the end of the rainy season.

Food security responses consistently make up the largest share of UN-coordinated humanitarian appeals, representing more than one-third of global humanitarian requirements at $7.4 billion in 2019, a statement from FAO read in part.