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Press Release 97/7

THE CITY HALL OF PALERMO PARTICIPATES IN FAO'S SPECIAL PROGRAMME FOR FOOD SECURITY


ROME, February 26 -- Mayor Leoluca Orlando, for the city of Palermo is the first Italian Mayor to take part and contribute to FAO's Special Programme for Food Security in response to an invitation by FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf to all Mayors and Presidents of Provinces and Regions. Last February 14, the Hon. Leoluca Orlando signed a Protocol Agreement for an initial grant of 100 million lire (about $60,000) in support of FAO's Special Programme, which is already under way in 15 developing countries, mainly in Africa.

The problem of food production, as well as access to food, has been one of the main themes of the World Food Summit -- the first such high-level gathering from 186 countries -- that took place in Rome last November.

The Summit has highlighted the plight of over 800 million people in the world who suffer from chronic malnutrition (200 million children under five lack the necessary protein and calorie intakes) and has awakened public awareness to the need for responsible action throughout the world.

The FAO Special Programme to help low-income food-deficit countries increase their food production is based on fundamental points: the improvement of agricultural, animal and fishery production; the control and protection of water resources from the vagaries of climate; the identification of obstacles hindering production, processing and marketing; the development of production systems; and the development of agricultural production and investment plans within a global development program that will ensure food security and adequate nutrition for all.


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