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ITALY, FAO, IFAD AND WFP SIGN AGREEMENT TO REDUCE HUNGER AND POVERTY WORLDWIDE

FAO Press Release 02/08


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For further information contact Lucia D'Aleo, Media Relations Officer, tel. 0039 06 5705 2520

Rome, 29 January 2002 - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has signed an agreement with the Italian government, the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) aimed at reinforcing cooperation in the agriculture and agro-industrial sectors.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said the initiative represents another step forward in the field of international cooperation, during a signature ceremony with Italian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvio Berlusconi. IFAD president Lennart Bage and WFP Deputy Executive Director Jean-Jacques Graisse were also present.

This is the first time that FAO, together with the two other Rome-based UN food agencies, has signed an agreement with Italy to reinforce and consolidate their mutual cooperation, Dr. Diouf said.

The new agreement is the cornerstone of a joint cooperative programme based on five main themes: training and research in the agriculture and agro-food sectors; sustainable rural development; increased agricultural and fish production; reduction of hunger and undernutrition through food aid; and, improved methods of production, processing and trade in agricultural products. In addition, the agreement reinforces cooperative ties to the academic world, non-governmental organizations and civil society.

The agreement represents progress in implementing the decisions taken by Heads of State and Government at the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome. It also paves the way for the World Food Summit: five years later, which will take place 10-13 June 2002 in Rome.


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