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Rome-Based UN Agencies

There are three UN agencies based in Rome: WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Their missions complement one another and they often combine their expertise in agriculture, food assistance and rural development.

Increasingly, the Rome-based agencies are finding joint solutions to dealing with emergencies and promoting recovery and development.

RBA News

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04/04/2014 - 11:18
RBA

ROME, 4 April 2014 -- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) unveiled today the results of their joint work to develop targets and indicators for a new global development paradigm for sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition. This is a critical piece in the three agencies’ contribution to the ongoing intergovernmental discussions on the post-2015 development agenda, the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Download Targets and Indicators document

The targets and indicators were presented at a high-level meeting at WFP headquarters, where the President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was guest of honour. The Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli also attended the meeting.

Representatives from the three agencies stressed the need to finish the job of the MDGs that expire in 2015, but also to broaden their scope to address deeper issues of universal relevance like malnutrition, sustainable and inclusive food systems, and their inter-linkages. The three agencies identified a list of five targets:

•    Access to adequate food all year round for all people.
•    End malnutrition in all its forms with special attention to stunting.
•    Make all food production systems more productive, sustainable, resilient and efficient.
•    Secure access for all small food producers, especially women, to adequate inputs, knowledge, productive resources and services.
•    More efficient post-production food systems that reduce the global rate of food loss and waste by 50 percent.

The UN Rome-based agencies emphasized that progress in these areas would have to come through innovative partnerships - among governments, with the private sector, with development institutions, and with all members of society, from producers to consumers. New governance mechanisms would also be needed to monitor impact, ensure accountability, and give different stakeholders a voice in decision-making. Attention was drawn to the important role in global food security of small-scale food producers, who need to be at the centre of new investments and new partnerships for a hunger-free world.

“The overarching priority of the post-2015 development agenda is the eradication of poverty in all its forms,” said President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is co-Chair of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda. “The Common African Position drawing from the African Union’s 2063 long-term agenda is a resolve to deliver on our various declarations and commitments on the social and economic integration, poverty eradication, and employment generation for our people. It aims to reorient the development paradigm away from externally-driven initiatives toward domestically-inspired and funded initiatives.”

The new targets are in line with the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge, which envisions a world where, within our lifetime, no-one experiences chronic hunger and malnutrition. The work of the three Rome-based agencies has been consistently inspired by this shared vision.

FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo, stated that the targets would inform UN Member States currently negotiating a set of sustainable development goals. “There can be no sustainable development without eradicating hunger,” she said. “We believe that incorporating these five targets in the post-2015 development agenda will ensure a more comprehensive approach to tackling hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition – to nourishing people while nurturing the planet,” she noted.

Highlighting the collaboration of the UN agencies IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze said: “A future of ‘zero hunger’ will not be built by any one organization in isolation. We know that we are stronger and more effective when we work in partnership, including with the billions of rural women and men who work hard each day to ensure our food security.”

“Food security and nutrition play a critical role in shaping a brighter tomorrow for today's most vulnerable families particularly the children.  Eliminating hunger unlocks the potential of individuals, communities and nations,” said WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin.  “Achieving these goals will require hardwiring equity into economic growth assuring no one is left behind.”

The three UN agencies stressed that successes associated with the MDGs have been substantial in some areas, such as halving the number of people living in extreme poverty, dramatically increasing the number of people with access to safe drinking water as well as boosting primary school enrolment.

But the agencies emphasized that gains were by no means universal and much work still needed to be done given that around 840 million people remain chronically hungry and that poverty continues to be pervasive in rural areas around the world.

The new development goals to be set by the UN General Assembly in 2015 should therefore be a catalyst towards the realization of the right to adequate food, improved nutrition, gender equality, focus on smallholders and sustainable and resilient food systems.

 

For more information, please contact:

Katie Taft

IFAD Communications
Tel: +39 366 5620976
k.taft@ifad.org
Erwin Northoff

FAO Media Relations
Tel +39 06 570 53105
Mob +39348 25 23 616
erwin.northoff@fao.org
Frances Kennedy

WFP Spokesperson
Tel: +39 06 65133725
Mob + 39 346 7600806
Frances.Kennedy@wfp.org

 

 

Liberian President and Italian Vice-Minister join high-level meeting of FAO, IFAD, WFP.

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04/02/2014 - 11:10
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President Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel prize-winner and Africa’s first female head of state, will share her vision as Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She will make a key note speech and take part in a panel discussion.

Other speakers will include WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin; Italy’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Lapo Pistelli; Deputy Director General, Coordinator Natural Resources, FAO, Maria Helena Semedo; Adolfo Brizzi, acting Associate Vice-President, IFAD.

Event:                        News Conference:
                                   Getting Ready for the Post-2015 Development Agenda:
Date:                          4 April 2014
Time:                          1330 – 1400hrs
Place:                          UN World Food Programme Rome Headquarters
                                     Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68/70,
                                     Parco de Medici,
                                     00148 Rome, Italy
            
Media Arrangements:

Media intending to attend this news conference should send their name, the organisation they represent by 2pm tomorrow (April 3) to: emanuela.cutelli@wfp.org  /  Journalists should bring a photo ID such as a passport, driving license, or registered journalist’s card.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information on the news conference please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Vichi de Marchi, WFP/Rome. Tel. +39 06 6513 2058, Mob. +39 348 051 7605
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3752, Mob. +39 346 7600806

 

 

 

ROME – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) invite journalists to attend a news conference to mark a special event organised by the Rome-based agencies in honour of Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia.

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12/23/2013 - 16:53
RBA

Rome – The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a  joint project to tackle the global problem of food losses.

Around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year, amounting to 1.3 billion metric tons – or enough food to feed 2 billion people.

The three UN agencies will work together on the US $2.7 million project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation to target food losses in developing countries, which can occur during harvesting, processing, transportation and storage as a result of inadequate infrastructure or lack of skills and technology.

In particular, the three-year project will focus on reducing losses of grains and pulses such as maize, rice, beans and cow peas – staple foods that play a significant role in global food security and have a major impact on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.

According to a 2011 report by the World Bank, FAO and the United Kingdom’s Natural Resources Institute, grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa alone are worth potentially US $4 billion a year and could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people.

At a global level, the joint initiative will share knowledge on the most effective ways to reduce post-harvest losses and help countries introduce policies and regulations to cut down on wastage at national and regional level.

The project will also identify critical points for losses in pulse and grain supply chains in three African pilot countries – Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda – and identify and test potential solutions to issues such as ineffective harvesting and handling, storage moisture levels, attacks by rats, birds and other pests, and insect damage.

Food security

The UN project will contribute both to the Millennium Development Goal of improving food security and to the Zero Hunger Challenge launched in June 2012 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which includes zero loss or waste of food as one of its main elements.

“When some 840 million people are going hungry every day, we have an ethical responsibility to ensure that food produced is in fact consumed and not lost or wasted,” said Jong Jin Kim, Director of FAO’s South-South and Resource Mobilization Division, speaking on behalf of all three Rome-based UN agencies. “Reducing food loss and waste will make significant amounts of additional food available, and at lower environmental costs, which is also critical in view of the need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.”

According to FAO, the 1.3 billion metric tons of food lost and wasted each year use 250 km3 of water and 1.4 billion hectares of land, and add 3.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases to the earth’s atmosphere.

“By mobilizing the individual strengths of IFAD, WFP and FAO, and thanks to Switzerland’s  contribution, we believe the project will have significant impact and influence in stimulating member countries to take action to reduce food losses,” said Kim.

Food loss occurs mostly during production stages – harvesting, transportation and storage of food – while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food supply chain.

In total, food losses and waste account for about 30 percent of cereals, 40-50 percent of root crops, fruit and vegetables, 20 percent of oilseeds, meat and dairy, and 30 percent of fish produced each year.

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About FAO
Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. www.fao.org

About IFAD
IFAD is a financial institution which focuses on rural and agricultural development, creating the conditions for poor rural people to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. IFAD strives to develop robust innovative ways out of poverty for the rural poor.  www.ifad.org

About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance. www.wfp.org

For more information please contact:
FAO Media Office
(+39) 06 570 53625
FAO-Newsroom@fao.org|

Peter Smerdon
WFP Spokesperson
(+39) 06 6513 2150
(+39) 342 878 4107 (cell)
peter.smerdon@wfp.org

Katie Taft
Communications Officer, IFAD
(+39) 06 5459 2396
k.taft@ifad.org

 

Switzerland to fund $2.7 million project with pilot activities in three African countries

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12/14/2013 - 09:44
ED - E.Cousin, Preventing Hunger, RBA

DAR-ES-SALAAM/DODOMA — Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands today finished a three-day visit to Tanzania along with top officials of the three United Nations Rome-based food agencies to support accelerating the access of farmers to financial services.

Queen Máxima, in her capacity as the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), led the delegation in exploring ways to link the UN’s food security and development activities in Tanzania with efforts by government, the UN and the private sector to boost access to savings, insurance, credit, payments and other financial services, especially for smallholder farmers and poor families in rural areas.

Queen Máxima traveled with Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Maria-Helena Semedo, Deputy-Director-General for Natural Resources of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Adolfo Brizzi, the Director of the Policy and Technical Advisory Division at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), who represented the IFAD president.

The UN officials noted how FAO, IFAD and WFP programmes, investments, technical knowledge and expertise, along with the advice and outreach of the UNSGSA, can connect agriculture, food security and rural development issues with emerging national financial inclusion strategies and programmes. The UN works to enhance food security and agricultural production, while at the same time helping expand affordable access to financial services.

The delegation arrived in Tanzania on Wednesday from Ethiopia. In Dar-es-Salaam on Thursday, they joined the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Framework developed by the Bank of Tanzania, which aims in part to ensure that at least half of the adult population will have access to formal financial services by 2016. In a speech at the launch ceremony, the Queen said that the UN is committed to supporting the framework and commended Tanzania’s remarkable progress in expanding financial inclusion.

The delegation met the President of Tanzania as well as senior officials from government and financial organizations to discuss how to accelerate access to the financial services that help farmers manage irregular cash flows and respond to external shocks such as droughts and floods, invest in capital to improve their productivity, reach markets, and access insurance to mitigate risks of crop loss.

On Friday, they visited projects supported by FAO, IFAD and WFP in the Dodoma area, meeting with rural community members and smallholder farmers to discuss both progress and obstacles in accessing financial services. Greater financial inclusion is critical for small producers to engage in agro-processing and value chain development, as commercial banks often perceive them as ‘too risky’ for loans. Globally, 70 percent of poverty is rural; smallholder farmers are the largest group of working poor, and they are mostly excluded from formal financial systems. This is especially true for women and youth, who often face additional legal and policy barriers to accessing financial services, as well as disproportionate obstacles to training and information.

The UNSGSA and the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP chose Ethiopia and Tanzania as two of the pilot countries for joint, country-level initiatives on food security, rural development and financial inclusion, due to the strength of those countries’ existing programmes, their agricultural and rural needs, government commitments to financial inclusion, and opportunities for joint work.

Visiting Tanzania, the UN delegation emphasized that access to financial services will help the benefits of the country’s economic growth reach poor people, create employment and encourage personal and social development. They praised the country’s commitment to improving financial inclusion, and said that with committed leadership and political support, there is much potential for scaling up access to diverse financial services for rural poor households, especially small-scale farmers.

# # #

About UNSGSA

H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is an active global voice on the importance of inclusive finance for achieving development and economic goals. Designated in 2009 by the UN Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) Queen Máxima encourages universal access for individuals and enterprises, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services, provided by diverse responsible and sustainable institutions. She works in partnership with stakeholders globally to raise awareness, encourage leadership, and foster action toward financial inclusion. She is also Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion. www.unsgsa.org

For more information please contact:

Media Resources

Tanzania trip ends with calls for more joint efforts on financial inclusion and food security.

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12/10/2013 - 18:28
RBA

She has been accompanied on the visit by senior officials from the three Rome-based UN agencies focusing on food security, together underlining the role that expanding financial inclusion plays in strengthening food security, as well as how food security interventions can enhance access to affordable financial services for the poor. It is the first time the UNSGSA and the three UN food agencies have travelled together to focus on these issues, which are closely linked with economic growth and rural development agendas.

Travelling with the Queen on the trip were UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and Adolfo Brizzi, Director of the Policy and Technical Advisory Division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), who is representing the IFAD President.

The delegation met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and members of his cabinet, as well as key players in the financial inclusion sector to discuss its role in helping improve food security in rural areas.

Queen Máxima stressed the importance of the Government of Ethiopia’s moves to strengthen the financial sector and make financial services more inclusive. She noted that greater access to affordable, timely and reliable financial services such as savings, payments, credit and insurance can help low-income households enhance their food security and resilience, as well as benefitting small business owners, smallholder farmers and other groups in terms of overall economic and rural development.

The delegation travelled to Hawassa in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) to see first-hand how the Rome-based food security agencies, FAO, IFAD and WFP, are working together with the government to make financial services more available to agricultural cooperatives and the rural poor.

They visited a school taking part in the “Purchase from Africans to Africa” project jointly implemented by the UN agencies and the Bureau of Education to improve food security and income generation activities of smallholder farmers by using the school’s food requirements to promote local food production. They spoke with small-scale farmers about how they manage their money, and with financial service providers about how to overcome obstacles to expanding access to basic financial services in rural areas.

More than 85 percent of Ethiopia’s population relies on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods, and financial inclusion enhances food security. When small-holder farmers have access to a full range of affordable financial services, including savings, loans, insurance and money transfers, they can be better prepared to withstand natural disasters or to make investments in their land that can boost their productivity and income.

Poverty has sharply declined in Ethiopia over the last decade, but a third of the population remains below the poverty line, mostly in rural areas.

Joint press release by WFP, FAO, IFAD and UNSGSA

#                #                #

About UNSGSA
H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is an active global voice on the importance of inclusive finance for achieving development and economic goals. Designated in 2009 by the UN Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) Queen Máxima encourages universal access for individuals and enterprises, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services, provided by diverse responsible and sustainable institutions. She works in partnership with stakeholders globally to raise awareness, encourage leadership, and foster action toward financial inclusion. She is also Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.  www.unsgsa.org

About FAO
Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. www.fao.org

About IFAD
IFAD is a financial institution which focuses on rural and agricultural development, creating the conditions for poor rural people to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. IFAD strives to develop robust innovative ways out of poverty for the rural poor. In Ethiopia, efforts focus on delivering reliable financial services to over three million rural households including in pastoral areas; small-scale irrigation development; enhancing smallholder engagement with the marketing chains; and more recently sustainable land management. Enhancing the rural poor’s access to agricultural markets and financial services underpin IFAD’s collaboration and investment to create opportunities for adding value to agricultural produce and to stimulate alternative sources of incomes for rural households.  www.ifad.org

About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance. Through its food procurement, WFP spent about $845 million in developing country economies in 2012. This represents a huge potential opportunity for smallholder farmers. WFP is working with partners to remove the production and market bottlenecks, including lack of access to financial services, that prevent smallholder farmers from connecting with its purchasing power. www.wfp.org

About the collaboration among FAO, IFAD, WFP and UNSGSA
The objective is to explore how stronger collaboration among these three UN agencies combined with the advocacy efforts of the UNSGSA can advance inclusive financial services for rural households, farmers and enterprises, and accelerate progress toward ending hunger, reducing poverty and rural development.  

For more information please contact:
Marianne Wiltjer, Communications, Royal House Division, Government of the Netherlands, +31.6.183.04764, m.wiltjer@minaz.nl
Tewodros Negash, FAO/Addis, +251.911.422.991, tewodros.negash@fao.org
Wairimu Mbarathi, IFAD/Addis Tel: +251931087219 Email: w.mburathi@ifad.org
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi (in Addis), +254.707.722.104, challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org

High-resolution photos of the visit will be uploaded here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faonews/

High-resolution photos of Queen Máxima are available:
http://www.koninklijkhuis.nl/foto-en-video/portretfotos/koningin-maxima/

 

ADDIS ABABA – Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), has just completed a two-day trip to Ethiopia to support Ethiopia’s efforts to make financial services more accessible to the rural poor.

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12/09/2013 - 13:14
ED - E.Cousin, RBA

Queen Máxima joins the visit in her capacity as UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). She arrived in Addis Ababa today at the start of a five-day trip to Ethiopia and Tanzania, together with Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Maria-Helena Semedo,  Deputy-Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO),  and Adolfo Brizzi, the Director of Policy and Technical Advisory Division at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  On Wednesday, the group is scheduled to travel to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where they will stay until 13 December.

Queen Máxima and the senior representatives of the three Rome-based UN food agencies –FAO, IFAD and WFP – will meet in both Ethiopia and Tanzania with senior government officials and high officials of national and international financial organizations. During field trips in both countries they will meet rural community members and smallholder farmers and discuss how expanding access to financial services can help farmers to manage irregular cash flows and respond to external shocks such as drought and flood, invest in capital to improve their productivity, reach markets and access insurance to mitigate risks of crop loss.

The UNSGSA and the three food agencies are working together with governments and the private sector to extend financial services to marginalized groups, especially women, who often face legal and policy barriers, as well as disproportionate obstacles to services, training and information.  Greater financial inclusion can also help increase the success of small producers who are not served by microfinance, but are also often perceived as ‘too risky’ by commercial banks.

On Thursday, 12 December, Queen Máxima will give the keynote speech during the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Framework at the Bank of Tanzania. A press conference will follow this event.

Press briefings of the four UN organizations will be held in Addis Ababa on 11 December and in Dar es Salaam on 13 December.

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Media contacts:
Mehdi Drissi, FAO Rome: tel: +39 06 5705 6479   email: mehdi.drissi@fao.org
David Paqui, IFAD Rome: tel: +39 06 5459 2213  email: d.paqui@ifad.org
Emilia Casella, WFP Rome: tel: +39 06 6513 3854  email: emilia.casella@wfp.org

Queen Máxima was in 2009 designated by the United Nations Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). She is an active global voice on the importance of financial inclusion for achieving development and economic goals. Queen Máxima is also Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2011.
www.unsgsa.org

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.   www.fao.org

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$15 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering more than 410 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations’ food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 172 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). www.ifad.org

The UN World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.  www.wfp.org

 

ADDIS ABABA – Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and the three food agencies of the United Nations are teaming up to raise awareness of how access to financial services – such as bank accounts, short-term credit, small loans, savings and insurance – can help improve the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the rural poor.

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11/28/2013 - 10:29
RBA

The report, however, notes that although rates of child malnutrition have steadily declined over the past 10 years, rates of stunting caused by malnutrition during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life remain high and micronutrient deficiencies are of particular concern.

The joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to the DPRK by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) visited all nine agricultural provinces in late September and early October around the main annual cereal harvest.

Total food production is estimated at about 5.03 million metric tons (including milled rice) in 2013, which is about a 5 percent increase over the previous year. Despite the improved harvest, the food security situation is still unsatisfactory with 84 percent of households having borderline or poor food consumption.

The mission observed immense logistical challenges for the public food distribution system and expressed concerns about the timeliness and consistency of distributions. Markets and informal mechanisms of bartering and other forms of exchange are believed to be of increasing importance for access to food by families, particularly in urban areas.

“Despite continued improvement in agricultural production, the food system in the DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist particularly in the production of protein-rich foods,” said Kisan Gunjal, FAO economist and co-leader of the mission. “In the interest of increased protein consumption and to reverse the downward trend of soybean production, the price paid to farmers for soybean should be increased.”

Since 1998, WFP in partnership with the government has produced blended fortified foods and nutritious biscuits for children and pregnant or nursing women. WFP has recommended a shift to a new product – Rice Soya Milk Blend – for children in nurseries to reduce stunting and wasting.

“Improving the diversity and quality of food provided through the child institution system is essential to improving children’s nutrition,” said WFP DPRK Country Director Dierk Stegen. “We want to produce Rice Soya Milk Blend but can only do so if we receive sufficient donor support.”

Despite a small reduction in the area planted, overall crop production in 2013/14 is estimated to increase due to generally favourable weather conditions that resulted in a higher rice crop.

The aggregate production from cooperative farms, plots on sloping land and household gardens estimated by the mission includes the 2013 main season harvest and the forecast for 2014 early season crops. Unusually early and heavy rains in July and early August compromised maize and soybean yields but had little effect on paddy.

The report estimated cereal import requirements at 340,000 metric tons for the 2013/14 marketing year (November/October). Assuming the official import target of 300,000 metric tons of cereals is met, there remains an uncovered food deficit of 40,000 metric tons for the current marketing year.

While this food gap is the narrowest in many years, it needs to be bridged either through additional purchases by the government and/or international support to avoid increased undernourishment during the current marketing year.

To improve food security and nutrition, the report recommends national and international support for sustainable farming practices, better price and market incentives for farmers and improvements in farm mechanization.

In nutrition, the report recommends that efforts should go toward improving dietary diversity and feeding practices for young children and women through strategies such as behavioural change, market reform and encouraging livestock and fish production; strengthening treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition; and better hygiene and sanitation practices.

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Read the full report here.

High-Resolution photographs from DPRK can be downloaded from this link:
https://www.yousendit.com/download/OGhkK2V2YWJreEI4SjhUQw

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
http://www.wfp.org/countries/korea-democratic-peoples-republic-dprk

For more information, please contact (email address : firstname.surname@wfp.org /firstname.lastname@fao.org), :
Silke Buhr, Regional Spokesperson for Asia, WFP/Manila, Mob. +63 915 216 4923
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Cebu,  Mob. +63 91 861 7029
Nanna Skau, WFP/Beijing, Mob. +86 138054051
Peter Smerdon, WFP/Rome, Mob. +39 342 878 4107
Peter Lowrey, FAO/Rome, Tel. +39 065705 2762, Mob. +39 340 699 2258
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646 556 6909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 207 240 9001, Mob.  +44 796 800 8474

 

ROME/PYONGYANG – A nationwide assessment by two United Nations agencies shows an increase in staple food production in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for the third year running.

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07/05/2013 - 10:13
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ROME – Syria’s food security situation has significantly deteriorated over the past year and domestic agricultural production will further decline over the next 12 months if the present conflict continues, according to a new report published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

“Crop and livestock production, food availability and access to food have all taken an increasingly heavy toll over the last year,” said the FAO/WFP report issued after a Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission visited Syria between May and June.  

If the present conflict continues the food security prospects for 2014 could be worse than they are now, the report states. “With so many adverse factors now stacked against the crop and livestock sectors, and assuming that the present crisis remains unresolved, domestic production over the next twelve months will be severely compromised.”

“There is a limited window of opportunity to ensure crisis-affected families do not lose vital sources of food and income,” the two UN organizations said. 

The FAO/WFP Mission forecasts a  wheat import requirement of about 1.5 million tonnes for the current 2013/2014 season. Current wheat production is 2.4 million tonnes, some 40 percent less than the annual average harvest of more than 4 million tonnes before the crisis and 15 percent lower than the reduced harvest of 2011/2012. 

The livestock sector too “has been seriously depleted by the on-going conflict,” the report says.  Poultry production is estimated to be down by more than 50 percent compared with 2011, while sheep and cattle numbers have also significantly declined.”

Household food insecurity has been driven up by massive population displacement, disruption of agricultural production, unemployment, economic sanctions, currency depreciation and high food and fuel prices. The average monthly price of wheat flour more than doubled between May 2011 and May 2013 in several locations. With serious bread shortages across the country, this April WFP started distributing wheat flour.

Food production has been hampered by high costs and reduced availability of inputs, damage to agricultural machinery and storage facilities, the threat of violence and the flight from the land by farmers. Some crops may not be harvested, the report warns.

Irrigation canals and cotton mills, among other infrastructure, have also suffered damage. Wheat flour milling factories and bakeries are either no longer operating or are operating at low capacity. In addition, sanctions have exacerbated the situation, leading to shortages of agricultural inputs, crop-protection materials, diesel, and spare parts.

There has been a very substantial exodus from Syria over the last 18 months, including 1.6 million refugees who have been registered and others who are awaiting registration.

With the veterinary sector significantly eroded and vaccines in short supply, there is a serious risk that livestock diseases could be transmitted to neighbouring countries. In order to avoid a serious regional animal health problem, vaccines need to be provided and cold chains re-established in order to facilitate their distribution, the Mission recommends.

Other recommendations include repairing rural infrastructure and providing inputs, tools, technical advice and provide access to land to those who have had to leave their homes.

Since the beginning of this year, FAO has supported close to 70 000 people. Assistance provided includes animal feed, poultry packages, small ruminants, and seeds and tools. With available funding, FAO will be providing support to a further 216 000 people with similar assistance.

Working with partner organisations in Syria, WFP reached 2.5 million people with food assistance in June, is planning to feed 3 million people in July and is ramping up logistics and operational capacity to feed 4 million people by October. In addition, WFP is providing food assistance to nearly one million refugees sheltering in neighbouring countries.

FAO has issued an urgent appeal for $41.7 million to assist 768 000 people. So far, only $3.3 million or less than 10 percent has been received. The funds are needed for seeds, fertilizer and veterinary supplies as well as cash-for-work programmes. 

Support to the coming planting season will be critical. Funding must be secured by August in order to provide farmers with fertilizers and seeds to plant in October. Without such support, many will be unable to harvest wheat until mid-2015.

WFP is seeking to raise more than $27 million every week to meet the food needs of people affected by the conflict both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. Under the revised Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), WFP’s requirements for its operations inside Syria alone until the end of 2013 totalled $490 million. For the July – September period the WFP operation in Syria is only 48 percent resourced.
  
 
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year,  WFP reached more than 97 million people in more than 80 countries with food assistance.

The Food and Agriculture Organization leads international efforts to defeat hunger. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people.

For more information please contact:
Jane Howard/WFP Tel:+202 25281730 Mob:+39 346 7600521 jane.howard @wfp.org
Dina ElKassaby/WFP  Mob: +96279867 4638 dina.elkassaby@wfp.org
Erwin Northoff/ FAO Media Relations +39 06 570 53105 +39 348 25 23 616 erwin.northoff@fao.org

 

 

If conflict continues, Syria’s food prospects will be seriously at risk in 2014, joint FAO/WFP report finds

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Cousin visited the Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research during her visit to Israel 18-22 June, where she saw pioneering work on dry lands farming and increasing yields even in the most difficult conditions, among other innovations.
 
“One third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, so we are also interested in exploring the possibility of developing new ways to minimize post-harvest losses,” Cousin said.

This visit strengthened the relationship between WFP and Israel’s Agency for International Development, MASHAV. WFP, together with FAO, is keen to further expand the partnership with MASHAV to leverage Israeli technical expertise that will increase the yields of smallholder farmers.  Opportunities have been identified in South Sudan and Rwanda, as well as in neighbouring countries where WFP and FAO work together.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva welcomed the opportunity to expand FAO’s partnership with Israel, together with WFP.
 “This collaboration could contribute to the ongoing efforts to sustainably improve productivity of small-scale producers,” said Graziano da Silva.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Jane Howard, WFP/ Tel    Tel. +20225281730 Mob. +346 7600 521
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634
 

 

JERUSALEM – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin, following her recent visit to Israel, joins with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in confirming the potential opportunity to transfer technology and innovations in agriculture to countries in the world where families live on the edge of hunger, and their resilience is tested by crisis including drought and floods.

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RBA

The project aims to increase household food security and incomes of the participating farmers; and to improve nutrition in school aged children. The initiative will also focus on increasing community awareness of appropriate nutrition and dietary practices.

The MDG 1c initiative is in line with government’s commitment to bolster the transition to a nationally owned and managed Home Grown School Feeding Programme. With additional assistance from the Technical Advisory Committee and the Project Steering Committee, navigation towards the MDG-1c target will be facilitated. School gardens, participating farmers, storage and logistics, school feeding, community awareness, nutrition and dietary practices, training of stakeholders, local procurement and capacity development are all instrumental for sustainability of this project.

Operating within the framework of a Capacity Development agenda, stakeholders will work together in tackling hunger and ensuring food security and at the same time address acute and child malnutrition. Consequently, support to school gardens will be strengthened to improve learning for nutritional education and increase access to complementary nutrients, such as vegetables for school meals.

The EU MDG initiative will result in significant value transfer to the communities and local markets, while providing nutritious meals to pre-and primary school- aged children. A WFP impact evaluation (2011) shows that school meals contribute to students’ minimum daily nutritional requirements and therefore ease the living expenses of the most vulnerable. The project will consolidate efforts gained in education and at the same time contribute to the overall goal of reducing agricultural poverty and increasing household food security.

“The goal of this 7.6 million Euros project is to improve food security and reduce hunger in the intervention areas thereby contributing to The Gambia's achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1c Initiative,” said Agnes Guillaud, the EU Chargée d’Affaires. 

With the partnership of FAO and WFP, the project will contribute to the sustainability of the Gambian agricultural sector enhancing the ability of participating households to increase the productivity of their farms with the potentials of producing in excess of their consumption requirements.
“Let me register how truly appreciative the Government of The Gambia is, of the various interventions of EU and the UN System. We truly value your support and partnership, and look forward to further strengthening the collaboration and cooperation in all spheres of national development”, said Honourable Abdou Kolley, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs in his launching address.

“This will provide the opportunity for the Government, EU and the UN System to reiterate their common goal of enhancing development and eradicating poverty, as the project supports the country's food security drive and raising the income levels of our farmers,” he added.

“Food security is not an absence of hunger; it is the ability of a nation to manage it. With sustained partnership, joint efforts and a common desire to fight hunger, I am confident that this initiative will yield tangible, durable achievements.” said Vitoria Ginja, WFP Country Director, at the ceremony in Pakalibaa.

“Agricultural production and productivity growth remain essential for better nutrition, but more can be done.  Agricultural research must continue to enhance productivity, while paying greater attention to nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and animal products”, the FAO representative in the Gambia, Babagana Ahmadu noted.  “The MDG 1c project is very important for FAO simply because it will assist smallholder farmers and small scale food processors overcome production constraints and add value and contribute to the overall goal of reducing agricultural poverty and household food security on a sustainable basis,” he added.

For more information please contact: isatou.njai@wfp.org

Isatou Njai, WFP/Banjul,     Tel. + 220 998 8889
 

BANJUL – The Government of The Gambia, the United Nations agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched the Millennium Development Goal 1c Initiative (improving food security through crop production intensification and school feeding in targeted regions). This is a four - year development project whereby FAO and WFP will provide technical assistance to the Government.