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Moldova Drought Aid Continues

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Families in Moldova continue to receive emergency assistance from United Nations humanitarian agencies in response to last summer's extreme drought. In the latest phase of a multi-step relief program, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has supplied more than 30,000 farms with enough seed corn to allow for the upcoming spring season planting, and 9,000 tons of livestock fodder to over 20,000 households. So far, over 135,000 people have received assistance.

Organization of relief efforts has been provided by UNDP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Food Programme (WFP) in response to last July's appeal from the Moldovan government.

Moldova is Europe's poorest country, and its economy is heavily dependent on agriculture. With rainfall totals 50-75% below average, the drought affected approximately 84% of the country's arable land. A study by the International Money Fund (IMF) found that as a result of the drought, the Moldovan agricultural sector lost approximately 100,000 jobs.

Catastrophic 2007 Drought in Moldova

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A summer 2007 drought in Moldova has been classified by the United Nations as having reached catastrophic proportions.

This situation is part of the drought that has plagued much of central and southeastern Europe throughout the summer. Extreme heat and lack of rain has created a crisis in the country's agricultural sector that may continue well into 2008 and beyond. The drought has not only effected agricultural production this year, but farmers are also having a difficult time preparing their fields for the autumn sowing due to the poor condition of the land as well as a lack of seeding material. This could ultimately lead to more financial hardship on the farmers because it will lead to a much smaller crop yield in 2008.

Efforts are being made at both the national and local levels to minimize the drought's impact. Let's hope something can be done to help this tiny country that is extremely dependent on agriculture for its food supplies and income.