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FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Safer than before: Latin America and the Caribbean creates a regional strategy to deal with disaster risk

CELAC presented its Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in the Agricultural Sector and Food Security for 2017-2030.

Latin America and the Caribbean is a region highly exposed to disasters and some of its countries are among the most exposed to global climate risk.

December 14, 2017, Santiago de Chile - Safer than before: that is the state of Latin America and the Caribbean after its highest integration body - CELAC - approved its regional strategy to face disaster risk in the agricultural sector and food and nutrition security, said the FAO.

The Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security, was approved yesterday by the countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, during its IV Ministerial Meeting on Family Farming and Rural Development, in San Salvador, The Savior.

According to FAO, Latin America and the Caribbean is a region highly exposed to disasters and some of its countries are among the most exposed to global climate risk. Climate disasters are the ones that affect the region the most, totaling 70 percent of the total of emergencies. An example of this was the last hurricane season, which devastated several Caribbean islands completely.

To face this and other situations, CELAC adopted an innovative regional strategy, with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR.

The strategy will cover the period from 2017 to 2030, in line with the global framework: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

"This is a great leap forward for food security and the agricultural sector of the entire region," explained Anna Ricoy, FAO Risk Management Officer.

Ricoy explained that the strategy will allow countries to comprehensively address transboundary threats and work together in geographical spaces with common agroecological characteristics.

The strategy will contribute shared knowledge, promote South-South cooperation, and help countries move towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without disasters signifying continuous setbacks in their agricultural sector and food security.

The strategy will be available online in early 2018

Main objectives

According to the FAO, CELAC's new strategy seeks to prevent the emergence of new disaster risks and reduce existing ones in the agricultural sector and in food security, by implementing integrated and inclusive regional measures.

Ricoy explained that the strategy has four priorities related to the agricultural sector and food security: understanding disaster risk; strengthening risk governance; investment in disaster risk reduction for resilience; and improved preparedness for an effective response and for better recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Support focused on family farming

The strategy - which received support from FAO throughout its elaboration process - will serve as a guide for the countries, and is designed primarily for the ministries of agriculture and rural development in the region.

In particular, the strategy seeks to strengthen family farming, which plays a fundamental role in terms of food and nutrition security: Its production is essentially destined to the domestic market representing approximately 50% of local food consumption.

“Family agriculture occupies millions of producers in the poorest rural areas in the region and is in very high risk conditions, since the impact of disasters on production goes beyond the mere momentary loss of income or opportunities , and is directly related to their food security and survival,” Ricoy said.

Delegados de la Reunión del Grupo de trabajo Ad-hoc de Agricultura Familiar y Desarrollo Rural de la CELAC

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