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Anti-hunger campaign can mark "historical turning point" for Mexico -- FAO DG

FAO to support Mexican Initiative and sharing experiences

Fotografía gentileza de la Presidencia de la República de México
Director-=General José Graziano da Silva and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto sign a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and Mexico

30 April 2013, Mexico City - Mexico's National Crusade Against Hunger can mark a historical turning point for the country, said FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, at the end of a two-day visit.

"Mexico has decided to say 'no more hunger."Although no society favours hunger, few have managed to unite in order to defeat it," Graziano da Silva told an ceremony marking the end of a month dedicated to the National Crusade Against Hunger. President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, attended the event together with over 300 members of the government, academia and civil society.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed during the event, Mexico and FAO will join forces in support of the initiative in areas such as the design of social policy instruments, linking public policies to increase their impact, increasing social, community and civil participation, as well as monitoring and evaluation.

The document also declares Mexico's interest in working with FAO to share the knowledge and lessons learned with other countries through South-South Cooperation.

Food, nutrition security

During the ceremony, President Enrique Peña Nieto paid tribute to  FAO's support and noted similarities between the way FAO and the his government aim to achieve food and nutrition security.

"Mexico's Crusade Against Hunger fully adopts the new approach proposed by FAO, addressing the structural causes of poverty and hunger and not just their effects. That is why the Crusade includes an important component of productive inclusion. Our ultimate goal is to allow the most vulnerable sectors of society to overcome poverty through their own work and efforts," Peña Nieto said.

The President also noted that this effort is fully aligned with both the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean 2025 Initiative and the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June 2012 at the Rio+20 Summit.

The national initiative which groups and aligns over 70 federal programmes, was launched by President Peña Nieto to free Mexico's most vulnerable Mexican populations from food insecurity.

The hungry cannot wait

The Director-General said that the impacts and results of the initiative will be felt in the short term if it is properly implemented and key supports reach those who truly need them.

Graziano da Silva stressed the need to create virtuous circles, such as those that connect school meal programs with smallholder production through government purchases, generating an effect that strengthens child nutrition and boosts local economies.

The Director-General added that mobilizing social participation is a key factor to guarantee success - harnessing "social power" as noted by President Peña Nieto - and said that now many countries are looking to Mexico thanks to the Crusade.

"If Mexico manages to win the fight against hunger and extreme poverty - as it surely will - other nations will feel encouraged to do the same," Graziano da Silva said. 

During his two-day visit to the country, Graziano da Silva held meetings with the Inter-Secretarial Commission of the National Crusade Against Hunger; the Secretary of Foreign Relations, José Antonio Meade Kuribreña; the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, Enrique Martinez y Martinez; and the Social Development Secretary, Rosario Robles. He also met with legislators, civil society organizations and representatives from farmers organizations.