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In brief to the Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security 2023

Avoiding and reducing losses through investment in resilience








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  • FAO. 2023. In Brief to The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security 2023 – Avoiding and reducing lossesthrough investment in resilience. Rome.




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      Book (stand-alone)
      The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security 2023
      Avoiding and reducing losses through investment in resilience
      2023
      Disasters are resulting in unprecedented levels of destruction across the world. These shocks and disruptions affect the functioning and sustainability of agricultural production and threaten the livelihoods of millions of people reliant on agrifood systems.Reducing the impact of disasters in agriculture requires a better understanding of the extent to which these events produce negative impacts in agriculture and necessitates an investigation into the underlying risks that make agriculture vulnerable to the effects of disasters.The FAO flagship report on ‘The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security’ provides a timely and comprehensive overview of how disasters are affecting agriculture and food security around the world.Building on previous work of the FAO on this topic, the report estimates losses caused by disasters on agricultural production over the past three decades and delves into the diverse threats and impacts affecting the crops, livestock, forestry, and fisheries and aquaculture subsectors. It analyzes the complex interplay of underlying risks, such as climate change, pandemics, epidemics and armed conflicts, and how they drive disaster risk in agriculture and agrifood systems at large.The report provides examples of actions and strategies for investing in resilience and proactively addressing risks in agriculture. It demonstrates ways to mainstream disaster risk into agricultural practices and policies and calls for a deeper understanding of the context in which these solutions are implemented.
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      Book (stand-alone)
      Building resilience to climate change-related and other disasters in Ethiopia
      Challenges, lessons and the way forward
      2022
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      Ethiopia is exposed to a wide range of disasters associated with the country’s extensive dependence on rainfed subsistence agriculture, climate change, resource degradation, diverse geoclimatic and socio-economic conditions and conflicts. Drought and floods are the major challenges, but a number of other threats affect communities and livelihoods. These include conflict, desert locust, fall armyworm, frost and hail, crop pests and diseases, livestock diseases, human diseases, landslides, earthquakes, and urban and forest fires. Every source of evidence suggests that Ethiopia would feel the human and economic impacts of climate change intensely, and the impacts will only continue to grow if the country continues a business-as-usual approach to crisis response, and will not be able to manage the increasing scale of the challenges. Thus, there is call by all stakeholders for a paradigm shift in the way the country deals with communities at risk, in order to take preventive actions to reduce exposure, vulnerability and impact at local level. This requires moving away from a reactive system that solely focuses on drought and supply of life-saving humanitarian relief and emergency responses during disasters to a comprehensive proactive disaster and climate risk management approach, including climate change adaptation, among which are interventions to enhance livelihood diversification, social protection programmes and risk transfer mechanisms. Furthermore, resilient agrifood systems support should include a range of proven interventions that are context-relevant and cover the whole agrifood system, such as increase in fertilizer use where appropriate and high-yielding and drought-tolerant seeds, strengthened extension and advisory systems at the kebele (local) level through the use of farmer field schools and pastoral field schools, expansion of access to credit, livelihood diversification, risk transfer mechanism and institutional development that link short-term emergency relief to long-term development pathways. This approach is essential for building resilience to natural hazard and human-induced disasters resulting in food insecurity challenges. Much progress has been made in the last 50 years in the way of managing mainly drought disaster risks. Large-scale prevention and mitigation programmes have been designed, incorporating a focus on vulnerabilities, household asset-building, and public works for environmental rehabilitation and generation of livelihoods. Preparedness has been enhanced by the development of various policies and strategic documents for assessment and intervention, early warning and response systems, and economic, social and physical infrastructure to strengthen the local economy and household livelihoods. An attempt has also been made for humanitarian response to count on an established risk-financing.
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      Book (stand-alone)
      The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security: 2021 2021
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      On top of a decade of exacerbated disaster loss, exceptional global heat, retreating ice and rising sea levels, humanity and our food security face a range of new and unprecedented hazards, such as megafires, extreme weather events, desert locust swarms of magnitudes previously unseen, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Agriculture underpins the livelihoods of over 2.5 billion people – most of them in low-income developing countries – and remains a key driver of development. At no other point in history has agriculture been faced with such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks, interacting in a hyperconnected world and a precipitously changing landscape. And agriculture continues to absorb a disproportionate share of the damage and loss wrought by disasters. Their growing frequency and intensity, along with the systemic nature of risk, are upending people’s lives, devastating livelihoods, and jeopardizing our entire food system. This report makes a powerful case for investing in resilience and disaster risk reduction – especially data gathering and analysis for evidence informed action – to ensure agriculture’s crucial role in achieving the future we want.

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