Viet Nam to help Chad bolster food security under UN scheme

J.M. Sumpsi (left) and Amb. Dang Khanh Thoai of Viet Nam sign South-South accord

26 March 2010 – Vietnamese experts will assist Chad enhance its food security by helping to improve irrigation for rice growing and boosting cereal production under a new scheme backed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Activities that the 15 Vietnamese experts and technicians plan to take part in will also include artisanal fishing and food processing, all of which fall under Chad’s five-year, $200 million National Programme for Food Security, designed with FAO’s assistance.

The agency said today that it will provide technical assistance to the experts from the South-East Asian nation during the courseOut of a total population of 11 million people in the African nation, 2 million are in need of food assistance of the two-year, tripartite South-South cooperation agreement.

Last year’s harvest was a disaster in Chad, with the production of sorghum and millet, the main staple crops, having plummeted by 22 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

Out of a total population of 11 million people in the African nation, 2 million are in need of food assistance, and both FAO and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) are ramping up efforts to reach the hungry.

Last month, FAO reported that Chad was one of 33 countries worldwide that are facing critical food insecurity due to a number of factors including prolonged drought, ongoing high food prices and conflict.

In its latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, the agency stated that the presence of a large number of refugees, conflict and inadequate rainfall is driving hunger in the nation.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has also been involved in alleviating the plight of the hungry in Chad by allocating $3.75 million to the country so far this year, most of which is focused on the health and nutrition sectors.

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