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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General briefs UK’s International Development Minister on linkages between conflict and hunger

Graziano da Silva presents FAO’s corporate policy on sustainable peace

FAO Director-General meeting UK's International Development Minister Lord Michael Bates in London.

1 May 2018, London - In talks about the impacts of conflict-induced food insecurity with the UK International Development Minister Lord Michael Bates, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today presented the organization’s corporate framework to support sustainable peace by promoting equitable rural development as the guarantor of continuing stability.

After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016 who are chronically hungry -- 38 million more than the previous year. FAO’s Global Report on Food Crises 2018 also found that the most extreme form of hunger, “acute food insecurity”, is also on the rise.

Conflict is the main problem behind these negative trends. The vast majority of hungry people - 490 million out of 815 million - live in countries affected by conflict; 122 out of 155 million stunted children in the world do as well. Conflict was why 60 percent of the 124 million people who were at risk of dying from hunger due to acute food insecurity last year found themselves in such dire straits.

At the meeting, Graziano da Silva stressed that combining efforts to restore and support resilient livelihoods with peacebuilding and conflict resolution is critical for sustainable development and food and nutrition security. Equally, investing in food security may strengthen efforts to prevent conflict and achieve sustained peace.

Cisterns for the Sahel

The Director-General also requested the UK Department for International Development (DFID)’s financial support to FAO’s “1 Million Cisterns for the Sahel” programme, aimed at promoting and facilitating the introduction of rainwater harvesting and storage systems for vulnerable communities, especially women. The objective is to enable millions of people in the Sahel to have access to safe drinking water, enhance their family agricultural production to create a surplus, improve their food and nutrition security and strengthen their resilience in the face of climate change.

Last January, UK and France committed to support actions against devastating poverty and bring stability to the Sahel area of Africa, including specific actions to tackle food insecurity, malnutrition and water scarcity in the region.  

Zero tolerance on sexual harassment

The FAO Director-General also briefed DFID on the organization’s efforts to reinforce the corporate policy against sexual harassment.