National Action against hunger crucial: Graziano da Silva

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Margerita, a South Sudanese farmer, sows the seeds for her maize crop for next year. Photo: FAO/Jean Di Marino

National leadership and action are crucial and governments have the primary responsibility for assuring the food security of their citizens, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said Thursday told a high-level meeting on the UN’s vision for a post-2015 strategy against world hunger.

The UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline will pass in 2015.

Graziano da Silva said “The Millenium Development Goals have pushed us forward. But with 870 million people still suffering from hunger, the war against food insecurity is far from over”. He said “The only effective answer to food insecurity is political commitment at the national level, and reinforced at the regional and global levels by the international community of donors and international organizations,” adding that the world’s attitude toward hunger has changed profoundly.

The Director-General said that since the world produces enough food to feed everyone, emphasis needs to be placed on access to food and to adequate nutrition at the local level. He said “We need food systems to be more efficient and equitable".

But he said that such progress will require significant public and private investment in rural areas where over 70 percent of the hungry live and where millions of people depend on agriculture for food and employment including 500 million smallholder farm families.

However, he warned that despite the primary responsibility of national governments to ensure their citizens are fed, today’s globalized economy means that no country acts alone.

Graziano da Silva said “Actions taken by one country or company may affect the food security of others while conflicts can lead to instability in neighboring countries and regions".

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’35″

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