Gordon Conway will lead and participate in a series of high-profile discussions on the critical issues raised in his book, One Billion Hungry: Can we feed the world? at the three Rome-based UN agencies on the 27th and 28th February 2013.
The UN agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – are critical to global thinking around agricultural development and as such their strategies have a far reaching impact on how we tackle global food security.
On 27th February, the three agency principals, José Graziano da Silva (FAO), Ertharin Cousins (WFP) and Kanayo Nwanze (IFAD) will comment on Gordon’s vision of achieving food security, and will be inviting comments and questions from permanent representatives and staff at FAO. This high-level seminar will be webcast live here at 2:30pm GMT+1. Gordon will then lead a separate discussion around the themes of the book with the young professionals’ network, YouFID.
Gordon will also address IFAD on the topic of climate change and agriculture, and WFP on the issues of availability of and access to food, during this visit. The seminar at IFAD will be webcast live here at 10:00am GMT+1 on 28th February 2013. You can also read IFAD Associate Vice-President Programmes, Kevin Cleaver’s review of One Billion Hungry here.
The UN agencies have complementary strategies and are increasingly working together to find solutions to both acute and chronic hunger.
The FAO has a 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. In a recent 2012 review of their strategic framework, the following five objectives were extrapolated and represent the main areas of work on which FAO will concentrate its efforts:
- Eradicate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition
- Increase and improve provision of goods and services from agriculture, forestry and fisheries in a sustainable manner
- Reduce rural poverty
- Enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems at local, national and international levels
- Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises
IFAD was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. IFAD’s main goal is to ‘enable poor rural people to improve their food security and nutrition, raise their incomes and strengthen their resilience’. Their 2011-2015 strategic framework lays out the following objectives:
- A natural resource and economic asset base for poor rural women and men that is more resilient to climate change, environmental degradation and market transformation
- Access for poor rural women and men to services to reduce poverty, improve nutrition, raise incomes and build resilience in a changing environment
- Poor rural women and men and their organizations able to manage profitable, sustainable and resilient farm and non-farm enterprises or take advantage of decent work opportunities
- Poor rural women and men and their organizations able to influence policies and institutions that affect their livelihoods
- Enabling institutional and policy environments to support agricultural production and the full range of related non-farm activities
WFP is known as the food aid arm of the United Nations and it is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Its strategic framework for the 2008-2013 period is soon to come to an end but comprises of the following goals:
- Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
- Prevent acute hunger and invest in disaster preparedness and mitigation measures
- Restore and rebuild lives and livelihoods in post-conflict, post-disaster or transition situations
- Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition
- Strengthen the capacities of countries to reduce hunger, including through hand-over strategies and local purchase
We hope you will join us in taking Gordon Conway’s book, One Billion Hungry: can we feed the world? to Rome by following the events on twitter using the hashtags #1billionhungry and #ifadclimate, or by watching the live webcasts.