The CFS is the United Nations' forum for reviewing policies concerning world food. It is the most inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all relevant stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition.
21 May 2013 – Poverty and food insecurity in Egypt have risen significantly over the last three years, according to a joint reports released today by the United Nations food agency and partners.
An estimated 13.7 million Egyptians or 17 per cent of the population suffered from food insecurity in 2011, compared to 14 per cent in 2009, according to the report by UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
16 May 2013, Rome - Governments, civil society and the private sector should ensure and strengthen the contributions of forests, trees and agroforestry systems to food security and nutrition, participants in the first-ever International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition (13-15 May), organized by FAO, said yesterday.
Globally, millions of people depend on forests for their livelihoods - directly through the consumption and sale of foods harvested in forests, and indirectly through forest-related employment and income generation, forest ecosystem services, and forest biodiversity.
10 May 2013 – The crops, animals and trees found in forests can play a crucial role in improving food security and nutrition around the world, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is hosting a gathering on the issue in Rome next week.
Forests cover nearly a third of the globe and provide an invaluable variety of social, economic and environmental benefits. Around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihood.
4 May 2013, Havana - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has acknowledged Cuba's efforts to ensure the food security of its population at a meeting on Friday with President Raul Castro. He invited the President to a ceremony marking the achievement during FAO's governing Conference in Rome next month.
"Cuba is one of the 16 countries of the world which have already reached the 1996 World Food Summit's goal of halving the total number of their undernourished. This was made possible by the priority the government has set on ensuring the right to food and the policies it has implemented," said Graziano da Silva, on his first visit to the island since he took office in January 2012.
"We cannot rest while so many people go hungry in a world where there is enough food for all," United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the launch ceremony which was attended by the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security of Timor-Leste, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Gordon Darcy Lilo, and
the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, Yukol Limlamthong.
23 April 2013, Rome - FAO recognizes Nicaragua's great efforts in the fight against hunger, FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva told Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Samuel Santos López today. They held a bilateral meeting at FAO headquarters during FAO's governing Council session taking place this week.
Between 1990 and 2010, Nicaragua reduced the prevalence of undernourishment in the country from 55.1% to 20.1%, thus successfully meeting Millennium Development Goal 1, which is to halve the proportion of people suffering from hunger.
22 April 2013, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today opened the FAO Council, presenting the 2014-2015 Programme of Work and Budget which calls for an increase of 1 percent of the Organization's budget in real terms to support the Organization's core work in fighting hunger and malnutrition and promoting sustainable agricultural development.
The Director-General also presented the accomplishments over the past year in cutting bureaucracy and other costs that will help the organization to operate more effectively.
13 March 2013 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will soon test a new, faster and more precise way of measuring hunger and food insecurity in four pilot countries in Africa.
The new approach relies on gathering information on the extent and severity of hunger from food-insecure people, through a carefully-designed annual survey to be conducted in collaboration with polling specialists Gallup, Inc, the agency said in a news release.
Known as the Voices of the Hungry project, the new approach will be tested beginning this month on a pilot basis in Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger. These countries have agreed to move towards the complete eradication of hunger, in line with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Zero Hunger challenge.
The plan is to then extend the survey to more than 160,000 respondents in up to 150 countries covered by the Gallup World Poll and to publish updated results on each country every year. The project will run for five years and will lead to the establishment of a new FAO-certified standard for food security monitoring that could then be easily adopted by other household surveys.
“This innovative method will be an essential tool for governments, civil society and other national and international organizations in the fight against hunger,” says Jomo Sundaram, FAO Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development.
“It will also be key to increasing the accountability of governments and in encouraging them to commit to hunger eradication.”
FAO noted that, despite recent improvements, the methodology it currently uses is not able to provide a comprehensive picture of the many dimensions of hunger. Right now, FAO is able to accurately monitor food availability at the national level, particularly in terms of potential energy intake.
The new tool will measure food access at the individual level, and will provide a clearer idea of personal experiences with food insecurity.
As part of the pilot project, nationally representative samples of 1,000 to 5,000 people, depending on the size of the country, will be selected to answer eight questions designed to reveal whether and how respondents have experienced food insecurity in the previous 12 months.
They will be asked questions such as – During the last 12 months, was there a time when, because of lack of money or other resources: You were worried you would run out of food?; You were unable to eat healthy and nutritious food?; You ate only a few kinds of foods?; You had to skip a meal?
“This is an exciting new initiative for FAO because it will enable us to better understand the severity of food insecurity in a cost-effective and timely way,” says Carlo Cafiero, the FAO statistician in charge of the project. “It will also provide FAO with an affordable and methodologically consistent tool for monitoring hunger worldwide.”
Results of the surveys will be available in days rather than years, allowing FAO to take an almost real-time snapshot of a nation’s food insecurity situation.
20 February 2013 – A year after the international community launched a massive humanitarian response to the food crisis affecting Africa’s Sahel region, millions of people there are still affected by drought and require assistance, according to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
“This year, some nine million people across the Sahel will still require food assistance from WFP, through emergency food assistance, rural development, nutrition and education activities,” said Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director.
Ms. Cousin was the host of a high-level event in Rome bringing together leaders of humanitarian agencies, government representatives from affected countries and major donors to review the effectiveness of the assistance provided to the region.
Last year the international community helped to avert a humanitarian catastrophe by providing $1.2 billion in assistance to around 10 million people across eight countries in the Sahel, noted a news release issued by WFP.
“However, millions of people in the region are still affected by drought, with close to 1.5 million children under the age of five at risk of severe acute malnutrition,” said the agency.
Ms. Cousin emphasized that boosting food security and building resilience lies at the heart of the collective efforts to change the pattern of recurring drought and continue on the path towards a better future.
WFP says that crop prospects are currently encouraging, but there is a high risk of future shocks, due to increased rates of poverty and undernourishment, extreme weather, environmental degradation, low investment in agriculture, high prices and vulnerability to market volatility.
Also, the conflict in Mali has triggered widespread displacement in the region, uprooting half a million people and placing pressure on communities still recovering from drought.
The western part of the Sahel region, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria, is facing a swathe of problems, which are not only political but also involve security, humanitarian resilience and human rights.
Last September, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi as his Special Envoy for the Sahel and tasked him with shaping and mobilizing an effective UN and international response to the multiple crises facing the region.
“The focus of the United Nations strategy for the Sahel is on the people of the region, to help them address the root causes of instability, with special emphasis on marginalized communities,” said Mr. Prodi. “My role is to bring the best minds and all the resources possible around key long-term development issues that critically affect the peoples of the region.”
Today’s event also featured a short documentary film, “The Human Chain,” which chronicles the humanitarian response to last year’s Sahel crisis, illustrates various forms of assistance – including cash and vouchers, special nutrition programmes to prevent severe cases of malnutrition as well as support for smallholder farmers to improve their self-reliance in the face of difficult climatic and economic conditions.