COMMITTEE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY
Rome, 20-23 September 2004
EXTRACTS RELATED TO THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE
SUMMARY OF MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS
V. FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT AND THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: FIVE YEARS LATER: REGIONAL DIMENSIONS
52. The Conference considered regional progress and prospects toward the achievement of the hunger reduction target and other commitments made at the World Food Summit of 1996 and the World Food Summit: five years later (WFS:fyl) held in 2002.1
53. Delegates noted with concern that, although the total number of undernourished people had declined since the World Food Summit (WFS), the global annual net decrease had been only about 2.1 million, or approximately one-tenth the number required to meet the WFS goal of cutting the number of undernourished in half by the year 2015.
54. While appreciating the positive progress of some countries in the region, the Conference noted that the reduction of 6.8 million undernourished per year in Asia and the Pacific had also fallen short of the annual target of 11.8 million. About 16 percent of the region’s population, or every sixth person, remained undernourished, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the world’s total. The Conference further noted that the WFS goal can now be reached only if the annual reductions can be accelerated to around 15 million per year, more than twice the current pace.
55. Delegates recognized that performance in reducing the numbers of undernourished improved with economic and agricultural growth, equitable income distribution, macro-economic stability, poverty reduction, effective management of population growth, improved access to food, progress in health and sanitation conditions, conducive public policies and peace and order. The Conference acknowledged that many of these factors were significantly influenced by natural and man-made disasters, as well as internal and external economic and political circumstances.
56. Delegates recognized the need to intensify efforts to reduce the undernourished population. The Conference supported FAO’s initiatives at the global level to expedite progress in meeting the WFS targets, including the Anti-Hunger Programme, International Alliance Against Hunger, and the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS). The Conference called for increased investments in the fight against hunger, including at national levels and through international support.
57. The Conference urged member countries to adopt a twin-track approach to reducing hunger, combining promotion of rural and agricultural growth with targeted programmes to ensure that hungry people have access to adequate supplies of food. It further recommended that programmes to increase productivity be coupled with efforts to improve the marketing and management skills of producers.
58. Delegates stressed the importance of sound agriculture and trade policies for all countries. In this respect, the Conference supported FAO’s Initiative to Review and Update National Agricultural, Rural Development and Food Security Strategies and Policies.
59. Delegates noted with concern the declining flow of financial resources to the agriculture sector, measured both in relation to GDP and in terms of absolute expenditures. The Conference called for increases in agriculture and rural development investments in accord with the goals and commitments of the WFS. Towards this end, the Conference urged all countries to urgently review and appropriately adjust their public expenditure priorities.
60. Delegates were encouraged by the continuing efforts to resolve differences among the World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries in the post-Cancún period. The Conference encouraged all member countries to contribute to the achievement of substantial improvements in market access, and reduction of export subsidies and trade-distorting domestic support in line with commitments that they made at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar.
61. Appreciating the important role of international trade in enhancing food security and rural livelihoods, the Conference requested FAO to continue its support in strengthening national capacities to analyze trade issues, assist countries in formulating and updating national trade legislation, facilitate regional and sub-regional information sharing related to trade negotiations, and assist countries in enhancing competitiveness in terms of price and quality of products.
62. Delegates stressed the importance of member countries in assuming responsibility for advancing efforts to reduce hunger in their own countries. In this regard, the Conference encouraged member countries that were lagging behind in meeting the WFS goals to assess their national performance via-à-vis the national and international commitments made earlier and provide the necessary political will to progress. Countries were requested to identify important gaps in policies, resource allocation and implementation capacities.
63. The Conference recommended that member countries that have not yet prepared national food and nutrition security strategies, with time-bound action plans, should to do so as quickly as possible, followed by effective support for implementation. To maximize positive impacts, the Conference urged member countries to mainstream food security as a national priority within national development policy frameworks and investment programmes, including country poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs).
64. The Conference encouraged countries to improve safety nets against hunger, including public distribution systems and school feeding programmes. Countries were also urged to strengthen programmes for rural income and employment generation.
65. Recognizing the potential to gain from the positive experiences of countries that had achieved success in reducing the number of undernourished, the Conference requested FAO to work with such countries in undertaking case studies to identify the elements of success that might be disseminated and promoted more widely.