Director-General  QU Dongyu

Read-out of the bilateral meeting between FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and President of the Community of Sant’Egidio Professor Marco Impagliazzo


Today, 8 April 2021, the FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, and the President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Professor Marco Impagliazzo, had a virtual meeting, to exchange on areas of interest for potential cooperation.

Professor Impagliazzo started the encounter by paying tribute to the Director-General’s vision for a renewed FAO that focuses on delivery and impact. He then commended the Director-General for the holistic design and systemic approach of the Hand in Hand Initiative and noted that many school feeding programmes of Sant’Egidio follow the same approach.

The President of the Community of Sant’Egidio presented some highlights of the Community’s work, including the nutritional centres to fight malnutrition of children and provide nutritious food, the schools of peace and the common garden.

The meeting further focused on the strong link between food and peace. The pair agreed to explore potential areas for cooperation, for example on school feeding programmes.

In that respect, they agreed there is a need to build more solidarity between the key players, private sector, academia, government and civil society.

The Director-General mentioned that food is a basic human right and underlined the importance of healthy food. In that respect he referred to the International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH) and the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (IYFV). He stressed that without healthy plants, fruits and vegetables, there is no healthy food.

The Director-General expressed his admiration for Sant’Egidio’s longstanding support to the most vulnerable communities. He added that the newly established Office of SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs (OSL) and the Office of Emergencies and Resilience (OER) focus on supporting the most vulnerable communities and work in close concert with partners from within the UN system and beyond.

Both were pleased with the virtual exchange and invited each other to visit their respective premises in Rome for an in-person meeting, once this is feasible.