News archive 2010
Fao has appointed international soccer star Patrick Vieira as a Goodwill Ambassador to speak up for the organisation its its fight against hunger. The Senegalese-born French footballer was nominated for the honor today by FAO Director General Jacques Diouf during the launch on May 11 of the 1billionhungry project, a global petition against hunger in the world.
FAO today unveiled a major online petition calling on people to get angry at the fact that close to a billion people suffer from hunger. Using a whistle as a campaign icon and an innovative online petition as a campaigning tool, “The 1billionhungry project” gives people around the globe the chance to express their discontent that in the 21st century remains a widespread problem.
More attention should be paid to the plight of child workers in the fisheries sector, according to a group of experts convened by FAO and the International Labour Organization to study the problem. Some 132 million girls and boys aged 5 to 14 years old work in agriculture - child workers in fisheries and aquaculture are lumped into that total. Because hard data on child labour in fisheries is lacking, policy-makers face challenges in tackling it.
Africa's food security situation requires urgent and undivided attention, according to FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. Underinvestment in agriculture is the core reason for hunger and malnutrition,which affected 265 million people or 30 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa last year.
Climate change could significantly reverse the progress towards poverty reduction and food security in Africa, according to a paper presented to the FAO regional Conference for Africa. The main consequence of more unpredictable weather is a likely reduction in crop yields. Climate change will affect poorer African countries disproportionately, and subsistence farmer are particularly vulnerable.
Five more nations have signed a FAO-brokered treaty that, once it enters into force, will deny access to fishing ports to ships involved in illegal fishing. The new signatories are Australia, Gabon, Peru, New Zealand and the Russian Federation. This brings the number of countries that have signed the "Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing" to sixteen.
Speaking at a meeting of leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf has stressed the "strategic importance" of agriculture for the social and economic welfare of the region. At FAO's regional conference, in Panama City, countries are discussing ways to boost rural development, prepare agriculture for climate change, the food security situation in Haiti, and other issues.
FAO has urged heightened international surveillance against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) following three recent incursions in Japan and South Korea. It is feared that a repetition of the diastrous 2001 transcontinental FMD epidemic, which spread to South Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe may be possible.
Fish is one of the world's most hotly traded food commodities: 53 million tonnes of it are traded internationally each year, with a trade value of $102 billion. A large share of that fish is from the developing world, the source of 50 percent of all fish imports by rich nations. This wins them both revenue and jobs. But getting their fish to market isn't always easy, according to reports prepared for an FAO meeting this week in Buenos Aires.
FAO welcomed the launch of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, a new multidonor trust fund managed by the World Bank to improve food security and incomes in low-income countries through assistance to agriculture. The new mechanism is designed to address the underfunding of country and regional agriculture and food security investment plans, making aid more predictable in the fight against hunger.