ACC Network launches new website

The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) Network on Rural Development and Food Security has launched a new website accessible from the FAO home page. The website is part of the ACC Network's ongoing efforts to foster greater collaboration at the country level among various development partners - UN agencies and non-governmental and civil society organizations.

The ACC Network was created in 1997 by FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development in close collaboration with the World Food Programme. The network was initiated in response to the World Food Summit's Plan of Action, which stresses the need for coordinated and focused action at the country level to combat food insecurity and achieve food for all. As official development assistance has declined, it has become imperative that UN agencies and other development partners avoid any duplication of efforts and increase their efficiency by designing mutually supportive programmes.

In addition, there has been a growing awareness of the interrelationship between the many aspects of development, such as food production, health, education, poverty reduction and legal and political reform. Therefore, achieving steady and lasting progress towards global food security and sustainable development demands coordination among partners with expertise in a broad range of disciplines. The ACC Website aims to share information and stimulate networking by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences and lessons learned.

Central to the operation of the ACC Network are national Thematic Groups on rural development and food security. They focus on such priority issues as food aid, HIV/AIDS, poverty alleviation, biodiversity and land reform. To date, 64 such Thematic Groups have been established, with membership typically including representatives of UN agencies, national governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and the private sector. The ACC Network's website provides useful links to the homepages of many of these development partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Near East.

Within their broad mandate to work towards World Food Summit goals, the ACC Network Thematic Groups aim to respond to the specific development needs of their particular country. At present, the ACC Network website contains selected profiles of some of these national Thematic Groups, but work is underway to develop a database to include comprehensive information on the status, activities and funding sources of all ACC Network thematic groups by region and country.

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6 January 1999

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