The World Needs Risk Management to Prevent Disaster Management -FAO

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By Ene Okwanihe, Abuja

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations FAO says world leaders and member countries are now calling for risk management instead of disaster management and response.

The FAO Deputy Director of the office of emergencies and resilience, Shukri Ahmed stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Shukri Ahmed is in Nigeria alongside the Assistant Director- General of the FAO and Regional Representative for Africa Abebe Haile-Gabriel on a weeklong visit from FAO Headquarters in Rome to strengthen solidarity and amplify the voice of humanitarian actors for support to stem food insecurity in the country.

Ahmed explained that if world leaders and member countries adopt a risk management approach it would go a long way in preventing a situation where communities and people get caught up in emergency disaster situations.

“one of the things we must be saying is; up till now and somehow it became a habit, we do manage disasters, managing disasters became our lives in most countries especially in Africa but we need to move away managing disasters to managing risks, because managing disaster is at the end and people have already been affected and what we do at that point is try to save. So let’s manage risks rather than manage disasters, these floods would come again, this drought would come again but how can we prepare ourselves better to prevent the impact that they are going to have on people”

He urged stakeholders to deploy policies, accurate data, early warning systems and a multi-hazard warning system to manage risk that would in turn prevent incidents or situations that would lead to disaster management and response thereby saving cost.

 “Why don’t we have the same information system which is called a multi-hazard information system or a multi-hazard early warning system, a multi-hazard early warning system is an efficient way of when you collect information, you use for different purposes so you save cost and it is efficient to do that”

The Assistant Director- General of the FAO and Regional Representative for Africa Abebe Haile-Gabriel while answering questions field by journalist, stated that the FAO is committed to agricultural mechanization to increase agricultural productivity and make it competitive.

He noted that the process of modernising and mechanising agriculture has to be inclusive by accommodating the smallholder farmers, the women, the youth who are resourceful.

“the best to make our agricultural products competitive is to increase productivity and to increase productivity we must modernize it but when we modernize we have to make it as inclusive as possible, if we modernize it excluding the smallholder farmers, the women, the youth who are resourceful then we are not solving the problem so it must be an inclusive process. It must also be resilient as my colleague has already alluded that  and sustainable , need to address the challenge of climate change and all kinds of risk that have been outlined, so yes FAO is fully committed to modernization of agriculture and   is ready to support the efforts of our member countries including Nigeria to move along that trajectory”

 For the FAO representative to Nigeria, Fred Kaffero, Nigeria is on the right path to modernization of agriculture as Nigeria has one of the best research institutions Africa can be proud of.

He added that the institutions are working on different innovations and research like developing different varieties and breeding in livestock but that more can be done in the country.

The delegation would be having a series of meetings with top government officials in the ministry of agriculture, Humanitarian Affairs, UN Heads of Missions and development partners in Abuja.

They will also make a field visit to Maidugiri, the Borno state capital, in north East Nigeria to interact with FAO project participants.






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