FAO Commits to Escort Pasigala Disaster

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Stephen Rudgard  Chief Representative Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN)

Reporter: Ikhsan Madjido

FOOD And Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (UN) commits to helping victims of the earthquake, tsunami and
liquefaction in the Pasigala region of Central Sulawesi Province.

FAO
Indonesia Chief Representative, Stephen Rudgard stressed that beyond October
2019, FAO will distribute and oversee agricultural and fisheries assistance to
farmers in Pasigala.

“We
want to be longer in Central Sulawesi. We would like to give more. We’ve
already proposal submitted. But no donor has set yet,” said Stephen Rudgard on
the distribution of aid held in Sigi, Tuesday (07/02/2019).

He
ensured that recipients of assistance in areas affected by disasters could live
back to normal. 
“It
is part of our mandate to restore food production and rebuild the livelihoods
of farmers and fishermen in Palu, Sigi and Donggala,” he explained.

The
value of the assistance provided in the distribution program to the families of
farmers and fishermen in the victims of the Pasigala disaster in Sigi Regency
reached USD 1 million.

He
explained that aid in the agricultural sector was distributed in the form of
430 tons of fertilizer, seven tons more seeds of corn, tomatoes and cayenne
pepper and more than 500 thousand meters of plastic mulch given to 8,000
farmers in Pasigala.

While
in the maritime and fisheries sector, he continued, this month FAO will provide
fishing equipment including nets and cooler boxes to around 3,000 fishing
families.

“The
FAO program to restore food security in Palu, Sigi and Donggala, which is worth
USD 1 million dollars, is part of a program by the UN emergency response fund
(CERF) to help the government,” he said.

He
hopes that the assistance provided can be utilized as well as possible by the beneficiaries
so that it will have an impact on the economic recovery of the farmers and
fishermen and not be traded.

“The
FAO program is designed to restore food production and improve the livelihoods
of vulnerable households and communities that depend on the agricultural and
marine fisheries sector. Selection of households is resolved through close
cooperation with the local government and village government,” he said.

Last
June, Stephen said, FAO has also distributed cash assistance to around 4000
households in 175 villages in 22 sub-districts of mothers from farm families
and fishermen who are pregnant, breastfeeding and who have children under 5
years.

The
families of farmers and fishermen who were victims of the disaster were very
grateful to receive the assistance provided.

Anita
(36), a mother of two sons, wife of a farmer in the village of Kotapulu, Sigi
to supplement her daily income selling brownies and jelly. During the
earthquake, Anita’s newly built house was badly damaged, including the kitchen
where she produced delicious dishes she sold. Luckily, she and her family
survived.

“The
day after the earthquake, the first thing my husband saved from the house
debris was a stove and oven, along with other kitchen utensils. He knows that
this is important for me, and for our family,” she said.

With
her husband, she built a temporary house behind the damaged one, including the
kitchen. 
After
Anita received cash assistance from FAO, she began her small business again. Se
uses a portion of cash to buy nutritious food for his family. The rest she
bought cooking ingredients to make brownies and gelatin.

“I
use cash assistance to restart my small business. I get around Rp. 30,000 per
day. This adds to our family’s income, especially to feed children,” she
said. **

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