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Director-General, AU Commission Chair meet on ending hunger in Africa

Addis Ababa High Level Meeting to agree unified approach
©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva meeting with Zuma Dlamini, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. FAO headquarters.

25 June 2013, Rome, Italy - African Union Commission Chair Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva discussed the forthcoming High-Level international meeting on eradicating hunger in Africa in talks at FAO headquarters today.

The two-day High Level meeting, opening in Addis Ababa on June 30, and being attended by African and international leaders, aims to reach agreement on a new, unified approach to ending hunger in Africa by 2025 in the framework of the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

The Meeting, officially titled Towards African Renaissance: Renewed partnership for a united approach to end hunger in Africa by 2025 within the CAADP framework, will be preceded on June 29 by a preparatory Multistakeholders Dialogue Session.

Dlamini Zuma and the Director-General agreed that the target date of 2025, proposed by the African Union and endorsed by FAO, will encourage stakeholders to work harder to achieve the goal of hunger eradication. Almost 240 million Africans, or 23 percent of the population, suffer from chronic undernourishment.

Praise for HLM preparations

Dlamini Zuma expressed her appreciation of the way the Addis Ababa meeting is being prepared. The meeting is co-organized by the African Union Commission, FAO and Brazil’s Instituto Lula.

Also discussed in today’s talks was the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, which she described as “a great initiative”. Angola announced last week it will pay $10 million into the Fund. Equatorial Guinea earlier donated $30 million.

The Director-General noted that the fund will be a powerful instrument for hunger eradication and said it should be used to boost food security, increase the resilience of vulnerable populations and help improve social protection for the poorest relying on agriculture.

Zuma commended the fact that it focuses on the neediest countries and advocated for support to women in particular by funding programmes that secure their empowerment.

In answer to a question from the Director-General regarding the condition of former South African President Nelson Mandela, Dlamini Zuma said he was receiving the best possible health care.

Dlamini Zuma, also met at FAO with the group of African Permanent Representatives to the Organization, whom she briefed on the Addis Ababa meeting.