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A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: May 25, 2022 11:50AM

*Global Food Security Ministerial Call to Action UN at New York Remarks
by FAO Director-General Dr. QU Dongyu As delivered *18 May 2022**


During the last two and half years, FAO has delivered support to members
and provided global public goods as well as direct assistance in
response to the worsening global food security situation due to the
pandemic, disasters, conflict and climate change. This has been done
through a variety of science-based analytical tools, normative work,
data, and analysis and rapid response actions.

1.         We are gathering today to discuss global food security call
to action.

2.         The Covid-19 pandemic has forced hundreds of millions of more
people into the poverty and hunger trap.

3.         The Global Report on Food Crisis released on 4th May 2022
stated that in 2021 193 million people are acutely food insecure and in
need of urgent assistance across 53 countries/territories. Projections
point to around 329 000 people reaching catastrophic food insecurity
(IPC/CH 5) in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen by the end of 2022.

4.         Malnutrition is increasing, too, with millions of children
suffering from stunting or wasting. More and more children and adults
are becoming overweight or obese. A healthy diet is out of reach for 3
billion people.

5.         The budgets of governments and consumers have been squeezed
tighter and countries?? income per capita has shrunk, creating a
cumulative loss to the global economy of more than USD 12 trillion over
two years (2020-21), and setting back progress on the SDGs

6.         In March 2022 the FAO Food Price Index reached its highest
level (160 points) since its inception in 1990, and has averaged 158.2
points in April 2022 down 0.8 per cent from the surge in March and as a
result remains historically high.

7.         Now the war in Ukraine could exacerbate global food prices
even more. Russia and Ukraine are dominant players in highly
concentrated global grain markets.

8.         Additionally, the Russian Federation is and had been one of
the top exporters in the world of fertilizers. The next planting season
of countries which are import dependent on the Russian Federation could
be at risk.

9.         It is time to transform our agrifood systems to increase
their resilience so as to avoid the level of vulnerabilities we face today.

10.       It is also imperative to increase our resilience to climate
change and to produce better and more with less negative impact on the
environment.

11.       Therefore, we need agrifood systems to deliver food security
for all, to be economically viable, to be inclusive. FAO Contributions
to the Call to Action

12.       FAO is promoting the transformation of agrifood systems to be
more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable for Better
Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for
All, leaving no-one behind.

13.       This transformation requires action across several domains.

14.       First, we must scale up emergency agricultural assistance. To
boost availability, in addition to providing timely food aid, we must
focus more attention on producing nutritious food locally. Currently
only 8% of all food security funding in emergencies goes to assist
agricultural production. We know that investing in agriculture and rural
livelihoods is strategic, and 7 to 10 times more cost-effective than
traditional assistance.  FAO needs $1.5 billion USD to support 50
million people in 2022 with urgent agricultural interventions to address
acute hunger.

15.       Second, invest in agrifood systems. Growth in the agriculture
sector is a sure-fire way to cut poverty and hunger in many middle to
low income countries. Transforming agrifood systems to deliver healthy,
nutritious diets, and deliver outcomes that are more equitable will
require significant financial investment, estimated at 8% of the size of
the agrifood market.  Investment should also be in hard infrastructure
(roads, irrigation, electrification, and digital) and in value chain
infrastructure (storage facilities, cooling facilities, banking
infrastructure and insurance infrastructure) which we know not only
increase access to markets but also reduces inequality.

16.       Third, apply science and innovation to revamp our agrifood
systems. They can address the interlinked challenges of agriculture with
climate change and food security. They can also boost social inclusion.
Technology and social innovations can help us to increase the efficiency
of how we produce, especially in water efficiency agriculture
technologies. Cutting-edge innovations are emerging in agriculture, such
as new breeding techniques to boost crop yields, desired traits, and
climate resilience.  Digital agriculture is another technological and
social innovation that can significantly reduce market failures in
agriculture and improve the functioning of the agricultural markets. It
can boost the effectiveness of extension services, and make farmers more
resilient to pests and weather fluctuations Innovations in data
availability, for example improved fertilizer use efficiency can be
achieved with soil maps and improved fertilizer applications. Finally,
innovation on early warning systems like ONE health approach can help to
improve eco-system sustainability.

17.       Fourth, we must reduce food loss and waste: Currently the high
amounts of food loss and waste could feed around 1.26 billion people per
year. It also results in a huge negative impact on the environment.Food
loss and waste deplete our scarce resources and contribute to the
climate crisis.If we reduce food loss and waste by 50%, there would be
sufficient fruits and vegetables available in the food supply to cover
the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per person per day (400
grams).

18.       Time is short and the situation is dire. By working together
we can realize the Agenda 2030 aspiration of a world without hunger.

19.       FAO commits to supporting members to answer this call to
action with your substantial support.


FAO - Speeches detail: Global Food Security Ministerial Call to Action
[www.fao.org]



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