FAO is a key player in emergencies. Its focus is on food production and agriculture, reflecting its specialization and responsibility within the United Nations family. Assisting in preventing disaster-related emergencies, providing early warnings of food emergencies and helping in rehabilitation of food production systems are FAO's predominant roles in humanitarian aid.
A special report outlines FAO's most significant restructuring since it was founded in 1945, with the aim of decentralizing operations, addressing new issues, streamlining procedures and reducing costs.
In 1994, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf launched three Partnership Programmes - the Programme for the use of experts for TCDC, the Programme for cooperation with academic and research institutions and the Programme for the use of retired experts. The programmes aim to strengthen FAO's partnership with Member Nations, enhance the cost-effectiveness and relevance of the Organization's work, and promote the national and collective self-reliance of the developing countries through the pooling of their institutional and human resources.
Rural women make a tremendous contribution to food and agricultural production. They also play a crucial role in determining and guaranteeing food security and well-being for the entire household. Equitable, effective and sustainable agriculture and rural development cannot be pursued without explicit recognition of these realities.
Published March 1997. Updated information on women and food security available from SD Dimensions.
Fighting hunger and malnutrition is the theme of World Food Day 1996, celebrated annually to mark the founding of FAO in 1945. And this year, it comes less than four weeks before governments meet at FAO headquarters in Rome at the World Food Summit to renew their pledges to achieving global food security. But what are the immediate prospects for food security in different regions of the world? And how do individual countries and their people fare?
Launched in 1994, FAO's Special Programme for Food Security aims to reduce hunger rapidly and sustainably by increasing production and availability of food where it is most needed. Fifteen countries have signed up to participate, including Ethiopia, Zambia and Nepal. The first results of demonstration plots are now starting to come in and look encouraging.
By the year 2025 - in the span of a single human generation - world food production must increase by more than 75 percent to keep up with the Earth's population, forecast to grow from today's 5.7 billion to 8.3 billion. But plant genetic resources on which food security depends are disappearing at an alarming rate. They must be preserved, analysed and shared in an equitable and sustainable manner if we are to develop new crop varieties to meet the challenge of long-term food security.