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Better Weather Services Will Improve Food Security

Improving weather services will also strengthen food security, UN agency says

25 June 2008 - Upgrading and improving weather services will play an important role in helping ensure food security in poorer countries at risk from the impact of climate change and natural disasters, the head of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says.

Speaking at a round-table discussion on food security yesterday at the Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said enhanced preparation and awareness of meteorological problems and challenges would allow policymakers to respond better once a disaster strikes.

Mr. Jarraud said WMO was working, through its regional climate centres and other agencies, to improve prevention and preparedness measures, including risk assessment, early-warning systems and emergency planning.

Natural disasters such as floods and droughts are among the biggest causes of what is known as "transitory hunger," compared to poverty-induced "chronic hunger." Although natural hazards cannot be avoided, capacity-building and prevention measures can greatly reduce their impact and ensure that people have enough food stocks to last them through a crisis.


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