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Syrian grain output strangled by drought

File image.
by Staff Writers
Damas (AFP) Oct 21, 2008
Syria's worst drought in 40 years is strangling grain production, prompting authorities to seek aid from the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation, the official SANA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Wheat production has fallen by 53 percent in 2008 and that of barley by 68 percent, with thousands of families affected, SANA said.

The FAO and other UN agencies have launched an appeal for 20 million dollars in aid, of which 9.3 million would be for farmers and ranchers.

The FAO has already provided 500,000 dollars in emergency aid to farmers most stricken by the drought and offered two million dollars in food aid, the agency said.

Up to 59,000 small ranchers have lost their entire livestock and another 47,000 lost from 50 to 60 percent, a UN official said in Geneva at the beginning of October.

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Tuna under threat in key SE Asia ecosystem: WWF
Jakarta (AFP) Oct 21, 2008
Key tuna species are under threat from overfishing in Asia's diverse Coral Triange region and a drastic rethink is needed to stave off collapse, environmental group WWF said Tuesday.

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