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Press Release 01/71

"Information is vital in the fight against hunger,"
states FAO Director-General.

Rome, 16 October 2001 - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announces the launch of its newest endeavour to fight hunger with information, the WAICENT Internet Portal located at

WAICENT stands for the World Agriculture Information Centre, FAO's strategic programme for improving access to documents, statistics, maps and multimedia resources to millions of users around the globe.

"Information is vital in the fight against hunger," states FAO Director-General Dr. Jacques Diouf. The WAICENT Internet Portal makes FAO's Information Centre one of the world's most comprehensive sources of information, giving access to the accumulated knowledge and expertise of FAO, improving the capacities of decision-makers, professionals and the public-at-large to access and use information essential for achieving sustainable agriculture development, Dr. Diouf adds.

WAICENT's information includes thousands of full-text publications and technical documents on agriculture, fisheries, nutrition and forestry available through the Internet, on specific subjects such as trends in trade, country-specific information, food safety and deforestation; codes of conduct, interactive tools for use at the national level, and early warning and disaster prevention systems; data, including maps and charts, obtained through the FAO online statistical databases, containing over one million time-series records, covering international statistics in the area of agricultural production, trade indices, food supply, land and food aid; and thousands of other multimedia resources available throughout the FAO web site.

According to WAICENT manager Francisco Perez-Trejo, the WAICENT Internet portal "offers a unique and powerful capacity to disseminate information to millions of users around the world."

As part of FAO's efforts to expand access to WAICENT, especially in Member Nations where the Internet is not yet widely available, many of WAICENT's specialized information systems are available on CD-ROMs. These include FAOSTAT, Food standards (Codex Alimentarius) AGRIS, CARIS, Gender and Food Security, and Combating Desertification, Mr. Perez-Trejo indicated.


For further information, please call FAO media office (0039.06.57052232) or FAO-WAICENT manager Francisco Perez-Trejo (0039.06.57053425) or consult on WAICENT:


Audio-clip (1min15sec): Message by the Director-General of FAO at the launching of the new Waicent portal

In Realaudio (Instant play, 82Kb)

In mp3 (Broadcast quality, 589Kb to be downloaded)

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