FAO Director-General calls for action on Sahel, Horn of Africa
Stresses need to build long-term resilience in talks with African Union Commission
27 September 2012, New York - FAO Director-General Jose' Graziano da Silva has appealed for both immediate and long-term actions by the international community to build the resilience of populations in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel to cope with food crises. Graziano da Silva met during the UN General Assembly in New York with Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Designated Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
"We should urgently shift our mind set and actions from a reactive and inadequate crisis response to a commitment to zero hunger," he said. "To do this, we must rapidly scale up of measures to meet the immediate nutritional needs of those at risk. At the same time we must build longer-term resilience."
Graziano da Silva and Dlamini-Zuma highlighted the importance of food security for Africa and discussed the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. The Director-General reaffirmed that Africa will remain a central priority for FAO, with special emphasis on the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and West Africa and with the focus on the promotion of food security, agriculture and country resilience.
During the meeting, Ms Dlamini-Zuma and Graziano da Silva also stressed the link between hunger and conflict saying that there is no peace without food security and no food security without peace.
Graziano da Silva also expressed FAO's interest in working in partnership with the African Union and with the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS). The Director-General pointed to FAO's partnership with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, which prioritizes food security, as an example of this kind of cooperation.
The Director-General congratulated Ms Dlamini-Zuma on the position she will take up on 15 October 2012.