2 March 2005 United Nations bodies have begun a series of projects to improve agricultural production in Iraq, including irrigation, fertilizers and the building of skills, the world organization's mission in the country announced today.
The UN Development Group Trust Fund (UNDG TF) is carrying out a $35 million programme to strengthen basic irrigation and drainage engineering as well as farming skills in Iraq. The programme also seeks to encourage professionals and technicians from different disciplines to work together to benefit farmers.
For its part the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has distributed 500 tons of fertilizers to nearly 4,000 beneficiaries in Basra, Missan, Muthana and Thi-Qar governorates, and is procuring $6.8 million worth of equipment and livestock under a UNDG TF supported programme.
Under the umbrella of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), some 23 UN agencies, funds and programmes are working together through 11 clusters to coordinate international aid to Iraq and to offer assistance in the rebuilding of the country.
The clusters, whose activities are funded by the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), are: education and culture; health; water and sanitation; infrastructure and housing; agriculture, water resources, and environment; food security; mine action; refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs); governance and civil society; poverty reduction and human development; and electoral support.