Photo credit: FAO
The 156th session of the FAO Council runs from 24-28 April 2017.
Famine in the spotlight at FAO Council
Graziano da Silva: 20 million people could starve to death in next six months
Urgent action is needed to save the lives of people facing famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, FAO Directory-General José Graziano da Silva said today at the opening of the UN agency’s Council.
“If nothing is done, some 20 million people could starve to death in the next six months,” the Director-General said in his opening address. “Famine does not just kill people, it contributes to social instability and also perpetuates a cycle of poverty and aid dependency that endures for decades.”
Council members will be briefed on the extent of the hunger crises, and the steps required to prevent catastrophe, during the week-long session.
Making funds go further
Council will also consider for approval FAO‘s Programme of Work and Budget 2018-2019. The budget prioritizes areas where FAO can deliver the greatest impact to Member countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable agriculture production, water scarcity management, and building the resilience of poor family farmers.
Food and agriculture are central to the sustainable development agenda, and FAO’s work is projected to contribute to the achievement of 40 targets across 15 of the 17 goals.
Voluntary contributions vital now more than ever
Council will also discuss a new scale of assessed contributions, which are the annual payments made by Member countries to FAO. Under the proposal, most countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will be required to pay less and other countries to pay more. The Director-General urged OECD countries to continue to contribute at the same level by making additional voluntary contributions.