C 2003/16


Thirty-second Session

Rome, 29 November – 10 December 2003

(Item 10)

Table of Contents


1. The Organization has embarked on a number of initiatives over the past few years to address the problems of hunger and food insecurity. This paper describes these initiatives and explains how they relate to each other in the context of the twin-track approach to hunger reduction. Their linkages with the Strategic Framework of FAO 2000-2015 are identified. As such, the paper describes the key elements of FAO’s strategic thinking and action on hunger reduction.

2. While all of FAO’s actions and programmes contribute, directly or indirectly, to hunger reduction, this document addresses only the more recent ones that have been undertaken as follow-up to the World Food Summit (WFS) and the World Food Summit: five years later (WFS: fyl), including some that relate to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) process. These initiatives include the International Alliance against Hunger (IAAH), the Anti-Hunger Programme (AHP), the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS), the initiative to review and update National Strategies for Food Security and Agricultural Development: Horizon 2015 (NSFSAD), the Regional Programmes for Food Security (RPFS) including support for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)1, the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), support to the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) for the elaboration of a set of voluntary guidelines for the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security and strengthened cooperation with civil society in follow-up to the WFS:fyl and the parallel NGO/CSO Forum.

3. The framework for anti-hunger initiatives taken by the Organization is the Rome Declaration on World Food Security which, together with the World Food Summit Plan of Action (PoA), summarises the conclusions of the 1996 World Food Summit. The implications for the Organization’s work are spelt out in the Strategic Framework for FAO 2000-2015, approved by the Conference in November 1999. This “provides the authoritative framework for the Organization’s future programmes, which will be developed through successive Medium-Term Plans and Programmes of Work and Budget”.

4. The WFS: fyl focused attention on the inter-related issues of political will and resource mobilisation which led to the WFS: fyl Declaration subtitled International Alliance against Hunger. This Declaration arose from the recognition that the achievement of the WFS goal of reducing the number of hungry people by half by 2015 will only be possible if there is a substantial and concerted effort by all stakeholders - those governments which have committed themselves at the Summit as well as civil society and the private sector. Hence, the call for the creation of an IAAH.

5. This document begins with a brief exposition of the twin-track approach to hunger and poverty reduction, which is implicitly adopted in all of the FAO initiatives, and describes how actions taken under it address the dimensions of food insecurity. It then describes the relationship between the initiatives and the FAO Strategic Framework and, finally, the coherence between the initiatives themselves in the fight against hunger.


6. This section describes briefly some of the principal issues related to hunger in order to focus the subsequent discussion on how FAO’s initiatives contribute to hunger reduction. Some key facts include:

Towards a hunger response strategy

7. The continued existence of hunger violates the right to adequate food, which is recognised as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This is short-sighted from an economic viewpoint - widespread hunger and malnutrition impair the economic performance not only of individuals and families but also of nations. Hungry children have stunted growth and learning capacity. Hungry adults cannot perform hard physical labour; they fall sick more often and are more likely to die young. They are unable to undertake potentially profitable but riskier investments for fear of the consequences of failure. Even worse, hunger perpetuates itself when undernourished mothers give birth to smaller babies who start life with a handicap. Micronutrient deficiencies, especially of iron, iodine and vitamin A, often referred to as “hidden hunger”, impose significant costs on societies.

8. If hunger is morally wrong and economically costly and if the elements of an effective anti-hunger strategy are well known then why does hunger persist? The short answer is that the political will to fight hunger more aggressively is lacking and, as a result, resources are not mobilised to the extent required. Anti-hunger strategies require the support of broad coalitions of stakeholders to foster political will for action towards hunger reduction.

9. Hungry people are not hungry by choice. They are hungry because they face multiple constraints - economic, social and political - that leave them trapped in hunger. Some people are hungry because of disability or misfortune. Policy responses to hunger must be multi-faceted and should aim at helping the hungry and poor to break out of the hunger trap.

10. Responses should create opportunities for the hungry, should equip them to take advantage of these opportunities, and should protect them if they are unable to feed themselves by reason of misfortune.

11. Experience shows that an anti-hunger strategy can be sustainable if it is based on broad-based economic growth with emphasis on rural development that creates economic opportunities for the hungry and poor. It is also necessary to ensure that safety nets are in place to protect those who cannot acquire sufficient food themselves.

12. Breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger provides large benefits. A rough measure of these is given by the value of the longer and healthier lifespan that would be enjoyed by those who are no longer undernourished as well as by a better nourished population in general. Preliminary estimates suggest that, if caloric intake increased from the present level to that required for achieving the WFS goal, the gain would be in the order of US$120 billion per year as a result of longer and more productive lives.

The twin-track approach to hunger reduction

13. This discussion points to the need for a twin-track approach to sustainable hunger reduction addressing all aspects of food security in an integrated manner combining opportunity creation with empowerment and protection. This approach would combine promoting rural and agricultural growth involving, in particular, poor and vulnerable farm households with targeted programmes to ensure that hungry people, who have neither the capacity to produce their own food nor the means to buy it, have access to adequate supplies. Investment in agricultural and rural development must play a central role in strategies to reduce hunger and poverty since 75% of the hungry in the developing world live in rural areas and depend, directly or indirectly, on agriculture for their livelihoods.

14. One track creates opportunities for the hungry to improve their livelihoods through policy reform and investment in agricultural and rural development. The other track equips the poor and hungry to take advantage of these opportunities by enhancing immediate access to food thereby increasing their productive potential. The two tracks are mutually reinforcing since programmes that enhance access to food offer new outlets for expanded production.


15. This section describes actions under the twin-track approach to enhance food security and how these actions address the dimensions of food security.

16. Food security, i.e. access of all people at all times to sufficient, nutritionally adequate, and safe food, without undue risk of losing such access, entails four dimensions that have to be considered in any food security strategy:

17. All four dimensions of food security must be present for an individual to be food secure. The mere presence of food does not entitle a person to consume it. A critical implication is that food security is defined at the level of the individual even though it is brought about by a combination of individual, household, community, national and even international factors.

18. Table 1 describes possible actions and policies that could be implemented under each track of the twin-track approach and relates them to the four dimensions of food security. More general policies and conditions are also included in the table. Critical cross-cutting policy issues to be addressed for any food insecurity strategy to achieve hunger reduction are also indicated.

19. An important message deriving from the table is that a supportive, pro-poor policy environment is critical for an investment programme, based on the twin-track approach, to succeed in reducing hunger.

20. Programmes that increase productivity (such as research and extension, promotion of high-yielding varieties, water and irrigation) should be combined with those that reduce the costs of market access and improve the marketing and management skills of producers. These improve food availability and nutrition within the immediate farm families and increase food supplies in local markets. Enhancing urban food supplies through investment in communications infrastructure, post-production operations and food handling and safety procedures is important.

Twin Track Approach





Rural Development and Productivity Enhancement

Improving productivity and production capacity, esp. of small-scale farmers

Investing in rural markets and infrastructure

Enhancing urban food supplies

Improving the functioning of input and output markets

Promoting income earning opportunities

Enhancing access to assets

Facilitating the creation of rural non-farm enterprises

Improving the functioning of rural financial systems and labour markets

Improving transition and sequencing of emergency rehabilitation-development efforts

Facilitating diversification

Reducing production variability (irrigation, water harvesting, pest control etc)

Monitoring production and consumption shortfalls

Improving access to credit and saving services

Food handling and storage infrastructure

Food safety regulation and institutions

Safe drinking water and sanitation

Direct and Immediate Access to Food

Food aid

Market information

Transport and communication

School meals

Food for work programmes

Cash transfers

Community and extended family structures

Emergency food relief

Safety nets

Nutrition intervention and education programmes

Cross Cutting Conditions

Growth, Trade, Macroeconomic stability, Governance institutions, Participation, Secure access to Natural Resources, Right to Adequate Food, Market Institutions.

Policy Framework

International trade

Agricultural pricing policies

Macroeconomic stability

Integration of labour markets

Asset redistribution (incl. land reform)

Food price policies

Credit policies

Management of food stocks

Food safety policies and regulation

21. Improving access requires better entitlements to food through income growth and the sustainable enhancement of livelihoods. Some of the discussion in the previous paragraph also applies here since increasing food output increases household incomes. Rural, non-farm activities, especially small-scale, agro-processing create a demand for primary production that are often highly labour intensive and constitute a key source of incomes for rural households. Promoting such activities through productivity enhancement has proven to have a significant poverty-reduction impact.

22. A concerted effort is needed for women to participate fully in such opportunities. Low-cost, labour-saving technologies for both productive and domestic tasks can overcome their key constraints, particularly time. This need is particularly acute for HIV/AIDS affected rural households, which are highly labour stressed, and where women’s (and girls’) increased caring responsibilities reduce their time available for engaging in productive on- and off-farm activities.

Rural development and productivity enhancement

23. Various actions are available under the rural development track to enhance food availability, such as improving the performance of small farms in poor rural and peri-urban communities.

24. Improving utilisation often requires measures in other sectors such as the provision of clean water and sanitation. Improving stability requires monitoring and surveillance systems as well as measures to dampen volatility of supply, prices and incomes. Storage facilities help to dampen supply and price volatility, while credit and saving facilities help to dampen volatility in consumption. Rural non-farm activities offer significant income diversification opportunities to rural households. The contribution of the rural development track to stability may also require post-conflict/disaster rehabilitation such as the efforts to rebuild agricultural production in war stricken countries as well as improved transition between relief, rehabilitation and development support to affected countries.

Direct and immediate access to food

25. The direct food assistance track contributes to food availability, primarily through various food aid assistance programmes (or, in certain cases, locally purchased food). These programmes increase food availability or cover emergency shortfalls or both. The efficacy of emergency food aid depends upon the accuracy and predictive capacity of early warning systems.

26. Individuals usually have access to some food through traditional, extended family and community coping systems which should be strengthened. Actions under this track should aim at supplementing access and include: targeted, direct-feeding programmes such as school meals and other nutrition interventions; food-for-work programmes which support farm families during the lean season and may generate new productive assets; and, income-transfer programmes which may be in cash or in kind.

27. To ensure stability of access, safety nets are needed for those who are unable to meet their own essential needs through production, purchase or traditional coping systems. Emergency food relief provides an important safety net when natural or man-made emergencies occur. Safety nets are particularly important for households whose productive capacity is suddenly and severely reduced by disease such as HIV/AIDS. A key policy prerequisite is the existence of information that identifies accurately those who are hungry and where they are located.

The policy framework and the dimensions of food security

28. A supportive, pro-poor policy environment, both internationally and nationally, can contribute to effective and sustainable food security programmes. An enabling policy environment should be conducive to broad-based economic growth and sustainable utilization of natural resources. It should also be conducive to private investment complementing public investment.

29. At the international level, a conducive policy environment implies measures to promote peace and political and economic stability as well as a trading environment that protects and promotes the development and food security interests of developing countries.

30. At the national level, macroeconomic policies should provide the stability required to encourage savings and investment. Policies which result in greater accountability of governments to their people and strengthen the capacity of communities and local organizations to place effective demands on service providers are essential ingredients of a supportive policy framework. Policies that define transparent and secure rights, promote gender equality and more equitable access to natural resources contribute to the sustainable use of resources and poverty reduction. Additionally, there is a need for policies that improve access of the poor to knowledge and information relevant to their needs and empowers them to share in the benefits of technological progress. A national commitment to the progressive realization of the right to adequate food can mobilize support for inclusive hunger reduction policies.


31. Recognising the need to sharpen its focus on the needs of the hungry, the Organization has reassessed its programmes in the light of the WFS PoA and the Strategic Framework. In addition to the recent initiatives, discussed below, a substantive outcome of the WFS process has been the redirection and reshaping of activities in line with the corporate strategies and objectives as set out in the Strategic Framework. This process has led to greater coherence in the Organization’s programmes in addressing hunger.

32. The Strategic Framework for FAO 2000-2015 includes, as one of the three major goals pursued by Member Nations in relation to FAO’s mandate, “Access of all people at all times to sufficient, nutritionally adequate, and safe food, ensuring that the number of chronically undernourished people is reduced by half, no later than 2015”. The Strategic Framework utilises five corporate strategies to address Members’ needs and 12 more specific, strategic objectives that guide the planning process for the substantive work of the Organization.

33. A number of initiatives have been taken in response to the call on the Organization to tackle the problems of hunger in an inclusive manner and to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals. Existing programmes have been re-focused taking into consideration the new thinking regarding major directions in fighting hunger. Table 2 shows these key initiatives and the corporate strategies to which they contribute.

34. The increased recognition of the multi-faceted challenge of reducing hunger has driven the design of interventions towards more holistic, inter-disciplinary approaches that take into account the different dimensions of food security. Given the high dependence of most rural livelihoods on income from agricultural production or on activities linked to it, availability and access to food are inevitably inter-related. Likewise, availability and nutritional status are closely linked since foods that are produced locally also provide “access” to nutritious diets. Most of the recent initiatives taken in response to the WFS have a strong element of advocacy (Corporate Strategy E) as a response to the need to foster political will and resource mobilisation, which inevitably must address all dimensions of food security2. Most of these initiatives also benefit from dialogue and collaboration with civil society actors which have mobilized around the WFS and the WFS:fyl.

Table 2: Contributions of recent FAO initiatives to fight hunger to FAO’s corporate strategies


Strategy A: Contributing to the eradication of food insecurity and rural poverty

Strategy B: Promoting, developing and reinforcing policy and regulatory frameworks

Strategy C: Creating sustainable increases in supply and availability of food

Strategy D: Supporting the conservation, improvement and sustainable use of natural resources for food and agriculture

Strategy E: Improving decision-making through information and assessments and fostering of knowledge management





































Right to Food8




Note: +++ Prime focus; ++ Second focus; + Other focus

1. IAAH: International Alliance Against Hunger
2. AHP: Anti Hunger Programme
3. FIVIMS: Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems
4. NSFSAD: National Strategies for Food Security and Agricultural Development
5. RPFS: Regional Programmes for Food Security
6. NEPAD/CAADP: New Partnership for Africa’s Development/Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, which includes three components: NSFSAD, medium-term programmes, and bankable projects
7. SPFS: Special Programme for Food Security
8. Right to Food: Elaboration of voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.

The International Alliance Against Hunger

35. The idea of a global alliance to strengthen political will in the fight against hunger and poverty has been gaining support and taking shape for several years. It became a reality when the WFS: fyl, in June 2002, adopted its Declaration, entitled International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH), with the overarching purpose of ensuring that the problem of hunger remains high on the international agenda.

36. The aim of the IAAH is to facilitate initiatives that enable the poor and hungry to achieve food security on a sustainable basis. It is expected to encourage the emergence of analogous alliances at national levels. These alliances would aim to:

37. The Rome-based food and agriculture organizations - FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and the World Food Programme (WFP), together with international NGOs - are networking to make the IAAH a reality. The 2003 World Food Day theme is the IAAH and an occasion for national and international events, conferences and exhibits under the slogan, “Working together, we can stop hunger”.

The Anti-Hunger Programme

38. FAO presented the first draft of the Anti-Hunger Programme (AHP) at the WFS: fyl. The AHP is a conceptual approach to hunger reduction which identifies priority areas for national actions for the WFS goal to be met. It provides a rough estimate of the incremental public resources needed to meet the costs. The AHP is based on the twin-track approach to inclusive hunger reduction.

39. The AHP identifies five priority areas for investment. It estimates that additional public investment of some US$24 billion is needed annually to bring hunger reduction back on track to attain the WFS target by 2015. As indicated above, the benefits are estimated to be at least US$120 billion per year. This investment package aims to:

40. The first four priority areas are related to the rural development track while the fifth concerns the direct food assistance track. The AHP document has benefited from internal and external reviews, including side events during the 2002 WFS: fyl and the 2002 Johannesburg Summit, and from comments and suggestions made during the debate at the 29th Session of the FAO Committee on World Food Security and 124th Session of the FAO Council. A third and final version will be available at the 32nd Session of the FAO Conference in November/December 2003.

The right to adequate food in the context of national food security

41. The WFS Declaration explicitly acknowledged the concept of the human right to adequate food. Further work was required to translate this concept into operational guidelines. FAO is currently providing the secretariat for the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) for the elaboration of a set of voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. Once adopted, the guidelines are expected to assist Member Countries in establishing the legal and institutional basis for attaining inclusive food security and lines of accountability for its achievement.

Mapping food insecurity and vulnerability

42. Recognising that a prerequisite for any strategy to reduce hunger effectively is a thorough understanding of who the food insecure are, where they are located and why they are food insecure, nutritionally vulnerable or at risk of being so, the WFS called for the establishment of mechanisms to identify those people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. The purpose of the inter-agency Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) initiative is to establish a system, at global, national and sub-national level, that assembles, analyses and disseminates information on the characteristics of food insecurity and vulnerability. The core idea of FIVIMS is that improved information is necessary for targeting policies and programmes on efforts to reduce the number of undernourished and achieve food security for all.

43. In addition to hosting the Secretariat of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Mapping System (IAWG-FIVIMS), FAO supports the establishment of regional, national and sub-national early warning and food security information systems in many countries. As a targeting and monitoring tool, FIVIMS has an important role in directing interventions, identifying beneficiaries and improving understanding of different livelihoods and their coping mechanisms.

44. The possible contribution of FIVIMS to the right to adequate food initiative in the context of national food security is being explored. It may be possible to use FIVIMS in monitoring progress towards the realisation of that right. FIVIMS is also an important tool for monitoring progress in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly, the hunger goal at both national and global levels.

Supporting national and regional food security strategies

45. FAO is making major efforts to support the development of country and region-specific food security strategies, applying the twin-track approach. With the WFS: fyl and the adoption of the MDGs, renewed efforts are being made to review and update National Strategies for Food Security and Agricultural Development (NSFSAD). These strategies were elaborated earlier as Horizon 2010 and are now being updated to Horizon 2015. Support to National Strategies aims to promote investment in food security and hunger reduction in member countries. FAO’s policy advice and assistance provides a country-level platform for implementing the AHP, reinforcing political will and integrating food security elements with other initiatives especially the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs).

46. The conceptual framework for National Strategies foresees policies and programmes aimed at the entire rural space and takes account of cross-sectoral and spatial linkages and the diversity in livelihoods. The urban dimensions of food insecurity are also considered. It addresses cross-cutting issues such as public sector reform and decentralisation, the implication of trade and macroeconomic reforms, and HIV/AIDS. In countries where FIVIMS-type activities exist or are being developed, linkages between efforts to characterise and monitor food insecurity and vulnerability and the national strategies are encouraged.

47. The process of updating national strategies involves facilitating inclusive national-level debate aimed at bringing strategies and policies more in line with the goals of the WFS: fyl and the MDGs, ensuring country ownership of the process and output and adjusting resource allocations towards hunger reduction and agricultural/rural development. Countries wishing to adopt a rights-based approach, for the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food, may do so in their National Strategies.

48. Regional action is also necessary to address situations where trans-boundary co-operation is needed for national food security. Related issues include policy and institutional harmonisation, trade facilitation and coordinated food safety measures. In response, FAO is supporting Regional Programmes for Food Security, developed and requested by Regional Economic Groupings.

49. The implementation of trade agreements often presents problems that are common to many countries in a region. In recognition of this, and to strengthen the participation of developing and transition countries in multilateral trade negations, FAO has organised sub-regional workshops under the “Umbrella” programme on trade-related capacity building. This programme aims to foster a deeper understanding of those WTO Agreements that affect agricultural trade, including fisheries and forestry, notably the Agreement on Agriculture, the SPS and TBT Agreements and the TRIPS Agreement. Demand exists from Member Countries for an extension of this programme.

50. In the context of regional actions, FAO and other partners have assisted the Secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in developing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). NEPAD is an African-conceived, African-owned and African-led initiative in which countries have committed themselves to take responsibility for their own development and reduce marginalisation on the international scene. Agriculture is the only economic sector named specifically under NEPAD’s first Action Plan reflecting the fact that it directly affects the livelihoods of over 70% of Africa’s people. The CAADP offers an integrated framework of development priorities for agricultural recovery in Africa and reflects many of the elements of the AHP; it also integrates elements of the experience of the Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS) in the Region.

51. In additional to providing support for National Strategies, FAO is also assisting NEPAD member countries to prepare Five-Year National Medium Term Programmes and Bankable Investment Projects (BIP). These investment programmes reflect the commitment, made by NEPAD members in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, to progressively increase allocations to agriculture within five years to at least 10% of national budgets. The BIPs are in line with priorities identified in the Declaration, particularly water control and rural infrastructure. Moreover, FAO will support member countries of the Union to design, where relevant, legislative instruments (Loi Programme) that will enable their governments to allocate the necessary resources within their national budgets to the development of the agricultural sector.

52. The Special Programme for Food Security (SFPS) is one of the leading elements of the Organization’s assistance to countries in meeting their WFS commitments. The SPFS, which has now been taken up in almost 100 countries, was designed to show, in the first instance, that it is possible for low-income food-deficit countries to make significant advances in food security by increasing the productivity of, and alleviating constraints faced by, small-scale farmers. Given that hunger is heavily concentrated in rural areas including among small-scale farmers, improvements in their productivity and incomes should not only result in immediate gains in household food security but also generate increased agricultural output and contribute to rural development, employment and food security. The initial aim of the SPFS was to introduce simple low-cost technology changes within the reach of resource-poor farmers. From the outset, the intent was that the SPFS pilots would be expanded to a national scale with a focus on policy and institutional reform and with responsible participation by farmers’ organizations.

53. Following an independent external evaluation in 2001-2002, and to align the programme with the evolving thinking on food security strategies, the Organization with the guidance of the SPFS Oversight Panel has made significant adjustments to the SPFS. A growing number of developing countries are expressing their determination to achieve the WFS goal and are looking to FAO and its partners for assistance, which goes well beyond that requested when they engaged in SPFS pilot operations. In response, countries committed to reducing hunger are encouraged to embark on nationwide multi-component National Food Security Programmes (NFSP) guided by the twin-track approach and including elements advocated in the AHP. Such programmes could be funded by a variety of national and international sources. In line with the IAAH concept, these national programmes are expected to be supported by a national alliance of interested parties built, where possible, on existing groups. Encouraging national ownership, FAO will confine itself to a subsidiary, gap-filling role.

54. One of the initial aims of the SPFS - convincing donors and developing country governments of the soundness of a focus of development efforts on small farmers - has clearly been attained and is impacting on major national strategy efforts including the preparation of national PRSPs.

55. Since the WFS, civil society organizations have stepped up their mobilization on food issues, helping to reinstate them in a central position in development debates. Preparations for the WFS:fyl stimulated the establishment of a global network including farmers, herders, fisherfolk and agricultural workers organizations and Indigenous Peoples as well as NGOs. This mechanism, the International NGO/CSO Planning Committee for the WFS:fyl (IPC), organized the Civil Society Forum held in parallel to the WFS:fyl and was mandated to carry forward its Action Agenda aimed at promoting: a rights-based approach to food security, local peoples’ access to and management of productive resources, family-based agroecological approaches to food production, and trade policies which enhance the food sovereignty of communities and countries. FAO is working with the IPC, above all at regional level, to help ensure that organizations representing the interests of the rural and urban poor are involved meaningfully in dialogue and decision-making on policies and programmes intended to fight against hunger.


56. The WFS process has been instrumental in sharpening thinking within the Organization on strategies for tackling the problem of chronic hunger in an inclusive manner and reflecting these in its programmes. The twin track approach, described above, constitutes the conceptual framework that guides FAO in the formulation of its programmes and initiatives as well as participation in other undertakings such as the machinery of the MDGs, especially the Hunger Task Force of the Millennium Project of which it is an active member. It is also an approach around which cooperation between FAO, IFAD and WFP continues to expand.

57. The Organization has been able to make a convincing case that (a) purposeful action towards hunger reduction is needed if poverty is to be reduced and (b) the complexities and extent of hunger require a concerted effort by all stakeholders both at national level and by the international development community. The Organization’s case has been strengthened by four significant arguments that appear to be gaining acceptance amongst policy makers:

58. The Organization has provided analyses and spearheaded an advocacy campaign to make international and national action on hunger congruent with the commitments made by governments at the WFS. FAO has shown convincingly that the slow reduction in the number of undernourished people is not unrelated to the low and declining resources that national governments and the international community at large devote to agriculture and rural development.

59. There are signs that the actions taken by FAO and other stakeholders in the fight against hunger are paying off, notably, major financial institutions, donors and national governments are seriously re-examining their budgets for agriculture. The Maputo Declaration of the Heads of African States and Government of the African Union make the commitment to “… allocate at least 10% of national budgetary resources…" for the implementation of sound policies and investments in the context of the CAADP of NEPAD.

60. FAO can reasonably claim that there is a large degree of consistency and mutual reinforcement between the content of its advocacy work, its policy advice and its projects and programmes in support of food security.

61. The immediate need is to move forward as quickly as possible with practical measures to reduce hunger on a scale commensurate with the magnitude of the problem. Above all, this means ensuring that those countries, that are fully committed politically to achieving the WFS and MDG goals, are able to mobilise the resources required both domestically and from donor sources. The international community, likewise, must commit to support these countries.


62. This paper informs Members of the coherence within the various, significant initiatives that are being taken in the fight against hunger pursuant to the Declarations of the WFS and the WFS: fyl.

63. Conference may wish to provide the Secretariat with guidance on these initiatives with view to accelerating progress towards the achievement of the WFS target of reducing hunger by half by 2015.


1 Within the context of NEPAD-CAADP, FAO is providing support for the preparation of Five-Year National Medium Term Programmes, Bankable Investment Projects, and, where relevant, the corresponding legislative instruments, the Loi Programme.

2 It is conceptually difficult to assign programmes to the dimensions of food security uniquely. In developing countries, programmes and policies, which promote availability through e.g. enhanced productivity, also improve household access to food. The latter occurs as a result of increased production by the household and/or increased employment and incomes as a result of the spin-off effects of agricultural growth into the non-farm economy.