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Thursday, December 1, 2022

FAO calls for increased investments in agric

By Francis Akinnodi

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has urged governments across the globe to prioritise increased investments into the agricultural sector and resilient agrifood systems.

The Director-General, FAO QU Dongyu, said the alarming signs of growing acute food insecurity should make governments rethink the way they tackle hunger crises by addressing the root causes rather than just treating ad hoc symptoms of hunger.

He spoke at a special side event looking at how to change the humanitarian game plan to better meet people’s needs and priorities and reverse the march of hunger across the planet.

The e event was organised to celebrate the World Food Day celebrated on the 14th of October every year.

“Clearly, a new approach is needed to halt and sustainably reverse these hunger trends. It is time for a rethink and repurpose. Prioritization, programming, advocacy and funding allocations should be evidence-based and guided by people’s needs and priorities.”

He added that in the middle of crisis, agriculture offers solutions, he said, pointing to the need for channelling more resources and funds to strengthen rural people’s resilience and help them preserve and improve their agricultural livelihoods to provide for their families.

An efficient response would require a focused and collective effort from all partners and stakeholders – the UN system, governments and local organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia, Qu underlined.

He warned that acute food insecurity is spreading and intensifying as multiple global and local shocks overlap, jeopardising achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with only 7 planting seasons left to turn the tide.

According to the latest survey, up to 222 million people are experiencing high acute food insecurity this year – one in five of whom have so little to eat that they face an immediate threat of severe malnourishment and death. A further nearly 1 million people will effectively be in famine-like conditions without urgent humanitarian assistance in five countries: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

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