Investing in Zero Hunger

FAO reaffirms its support to the Congolese Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

13/09/2019 - 

On the sidelines of the 5th Investing in Africa Forum, held from 10 to 12 September in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, FAO’s Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, met with representatives of the Congolese Parliament to discuss the role of parliamentarians in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Mr. Haile-Gabriel commended the President of the Senate, Pierre Ngolo, and the President of the National Assembly, Isidore Mvouba, for their leadership on keeping issues of food security and nutrition at the forefront of the political agenda. The leaders of the two chambers of Parliament were instrumental in creating a Congolese parliamentary alliance for food security and nutrition (Alliance Parlementaire pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et Nutritionnelle, or APCSAN), and are currently supporting the creation of a sub-regional parliamentary platform for food security and nutrition.

This approach aims to support the country’s choice to make agriculture a key sector, in order to guarantee food self-sufficiency and diversify the economy through the creation of jobs for young people and the export of agri-food products.

Following a meeting with the Senate Speaker, Mr. Haile-Gabriel spoke of the importance of the establishment of APCSAN and recognized the role that the two chambers of the Congolese Parliament play in guaranteeing the food and nutrition security of the country. "The Senate and the National Assembly have set up, in 2018, a parliamentary alliance for food and nutritional security. Congo is, to date, the first country in Central Africa to have established this type of alliance. It is a way for FAO to support parliaments so that they continue to play their proper role in enhancing food and nutrition security, ensuring that no one goes hungry, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.” 

The Congo, fed abundantly by the Congo River, has enormous national agricultural potential and a favorable climate for agricultural development. The partnership with FAO helps the country to boost agriculture so that it produces enough to reach Zero Hunger.

The two presidents thanked FAO for its collaboration and reaffirmed the will of the Congolese Parliament to promote the Congolese agricultural sector, through strengthening the capacity of Parliamentarians in food and nutrition security and creating legislative and institutional frameworks that would ensure better allocation of resources to national plans and programs.

Parliamentarians of the subregion commit to the right to food and adequate nutrition

During these discussions, the FAO Regional Director for Africa discussed the preparations for a forum which will be held in November 2019 to enable the creation of a parliamentary sub-regional platform designed to promote sustainable agriculture as a way to improve food and nutrition security for people living in Central Africa.

"The establishment of this sub-regional platform is an essential mechanism to improve food and nutritional security in all countries of the subregion,” said the President of the Senate, Pierre Ngolo. “I reaffirm my full availability to support this commendable initiative."

"ACPSAN feels honored to have initiated this forum, an important step for the creation of the parliamentary platform of the countries of Central Africa,” affirmed Isidore Mvouba, President of the National Assembly. “[the platform] will foster access to international instruments for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems to reduce poverty and hunger and guarantee the right to food."

Recalling that improving food security and nutrition is a collective effort that requires well-designed laws, adequate public budgets, and strong legal frameworks to improve food systems and ensure healthy diets, the theme chosen for the forum is #ZeroHunger: the role and responsibility of the parliamentarian in Central Africa.

Mr. Haile-Gabriel reiterated FAO's support for Congo's efforts to improve food and nutrition security through the implementation of its Parliamentary Alliance, and encouraged other African countries that have not yet established similar platforms to follow suit.