Zero hunger is possible

Photo credit: FAO

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva addresses the plenary at the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development.

Investing in a future free from hunger

With the right investments in agriculture and social production, zero hunger is possible – FAO Director-General at Addis Conference

Highlighting the historic opportunity to become the “Zero Hunger generation”, FAO Director-General José Graziano Da Silva called for additional investments in social protection and rural development at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today.

The expected Addis Ababa Accord on Financing for Development will serve as a roadmap for future investments in development that are people-centered and sustainable and a crucial pillar of the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Through the SDGs and the Accord, the world has declared: ‘Our goal is to end poverty and hunger,'” da Silva said addressing world leaders, civil society and private sector representatives gathered for the conference plenary.

To achieve this, significant boosts to investment in both social protection and rural development are needed to ensure that every person has adequate access to food all year long, and improve the productivity, incomes and livelihoods of the poor, he added.

“Strengthened social protection is crucial for rapid progress to end hunger and to reach the most vulnerable families,” Graziano da Silva said.

Because more than 70 percent of the world´s poor live in the countryside, priority must be given to social protection in rural areas, which usually escapes the attention of traditional social security systems.

Investment in development should also focus on adapting to climate change and support sustainable and inclusive food systems, the FAO Director-General stressed.

Investing for rapid progress

Graziano da Silva’s remarks follow the release of a report by FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that details the investments needed to eradicate world hunger by 2030 – a key aim of the SDGs to be adopted in September.

It’s widely understood that eliminating hunger is an essential prerequisite to achieving other development goals relating to health, education and productivity.

Read the full article: FAO

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.