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FAO in North America

Our Priorities

The FAO Liaison Office for North America aims to help stakeholders gain a deeper understanding of FAO’s mandate and the importance of its activities worldwide to achieve a world free of hunger and poverty. The Liaison Office provides a neutral platform for knowledge sharing on key issues. Priority areas for North America include: food security and nutrition; food loss and waste; the one world, one health agenda; trade; gender; climate change; and resilience building. 

Food Security & Nutrition

FAO’s mandate is to ensure that all people at all times have access to affordable and nutritious food in adequate quantity and quality to meet their dietary requirements in a sustainable manner. Despite much progress, nearly 815 million people worldwide are chronically hungry and 2 billion lack key micronutrients such as iron and vitamin A, while obesity rates are on the rise in all regions of the world. The triple burden of malnutrition is a cause for serious concern and requires urgent action in order to fulfil the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve a world free from hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

The FAO Liaison Office for North America facilitates dialogues on the latest topics regarding food and nutrition security, and promotes FAO’s annual flagship report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, which measures progress towards achieving Zero Hunger.

Read more about FAOs work on the SDGs and Nutrition.

Food Loss & Waste

One-third of all the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to 1.3 billion tons per year! Food loss not only represents a waste of valuable resources such as land, water and energy, but also leads to unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions and substantial economic losses.

FAO is supporting global efforts to reduce food loss and waste significantly by coordinating global activities and projects in partnership with UN agencies, international organizations, and stakeholders including foundations, universities, research institutions, the private sector, and civil society.

FAO’s Liaison Office for North America shares the latest knowledge on how to tackle food loss and waste, and facilitates information exchange between different stakeholders to highlight opportunities to address the issue.

Find out more about FAO’s work on Food Loss and Waste.

One World, One Health

Through the One World, One Health agenda, FAO works proactively to address the threats and reduce the risks of detrimental infectious diseases at the animal-human-ecosystem interface. The Organization is working in close collaboration with United States and Canada on zoonotic diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). FAO plays a crucial role in supporting governments, producers, traders and others to move towards the responsible use of antimicrobials in order to reduce antimicrobial resistance in agricultural systems.

In collaboration with the United States, FAO is supporting the roll out of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), an international partnership initiative launched in 2014, to help prevent, detect and respond to emerging disease threats globally.

The FAO Liaison Office for North America facilitates dialogue with stakeholders regarding the One World, One Health agenda, antimicrobial resistance and other related topics to disease threats.

Find out more about FAO’s work on AMR.

Trade

FAO supports countries’ effective engagement in the formulation of trade agreements that improve food security by strengthening evidence on the implications of changes in trade policies, providing capacity development in the use of this evidence, and facilitating neutral dialogue.

FAO keeps under review global issues that affect trade in agriculture and provides analytical and policy relevant information. It maintains a comprehensive market intelligence service of the main agricultural commodities and houses the Secretariats of the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP), nine Intergovernmental Commodity Groups (IGGs), and of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS).

The FAO Liaison Office for North America monitors trade priorities for the United States and Canadian governments and facilitates dialogue on agriculture and trade policy issues.

Find out more about FAO’s work on trade.

Gender

Women in agriculture, particularly in rural areas, have less access than men to productive resources and opportunities. The gender gap exists for many assets and services, including land, livestock, labor, education, extension and financial services, and technology. This not only burdens women, but has significant implications for the broader society and economy. When women control additional income, they spend more of it than men do on food, health, clothing and education for their children. This has positive implications for economic growth through improved health, nutrition, and education outcomes.  Gender equality is central to FAO's strategy for agriculture and rural development.

The FAO Liaison Office for North America raises awareness about the importance of gender equality and strengthening women’s access to productive resources as an important means to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read more about FAO’s work on gender

Climate Change and Agriculture

Climate change threatens our ability to achieve global food security, eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity and livestock are a significant driver of climate change, which has both direct and indirect effects on agricultural productivity through changing rainfall patterns, drought, flooding, and the geographical redistribution of pests and diseases.

FAO helps countries’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change through a wide range of research-based and practical programs and projects, one of the areas includes climate smart agriculture. Implementing climate smart agriculture is vital to achieving long-term food security. The United States and Canada are founding members of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, hosted at FAO headquarters, which seeks to assist governments, scientists, businesses, farmers and civil society adjust agricultural practices, food systems and social policies to take account of climate change and the efficient use of natural resources.

FAO’s Liaison Office for North America facilitates dialogue between diverse stakeholders on the effects of climate change on agriculture and food systems.

Find out more about FAO’s work on Climate Change.

Resilience Building

People around the world are increasingly exposed to natural disasters, disease epidemics, conflict and market shocks. Resilience is at the core of establishing durable food security and agricultural growth. Developing resilient agriculture systems will require technologies and practices that enable smallholder farmers to counter environmental degradation and climate change in ways that maintain sustainable agricultural growth. FAO has been working in close collaboration with United States and Canada to help people in fragile countries prepare for emergencies and shocks.

By helping countries create or strengthen early warning and disaster risk reduction systems, FAO ensures that those who are most vulnerable to disasters are adequately prepared. FAO hosts a range of early warning systems including: the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES), and the Fishery Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS). FAO is aso key partner in the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and the Global Early Warning and Response System for major animal diseases (GLEWS).

The FAO Liaison Office for North America raises awareness about the importance of strengthening the resilience of rural livelihoods to prevent and reduce the impact of disasters and conflict on their lives.

Find out more about FAO’s work on Resilience and Emergencies