FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Eradicating hunger by 2025: the dream that unites CELAC and FAO

FAO and CELAC coordinate their agendas to move towards zero hunger in all countries of the region, through CELAC’s Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication 2025

FAO and CELAC work on a shared agenda to eradicate hunger.

March 10, 2015, Santiago de Chile - The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have aligned their efforts under a common goal: the complete eradication of hunger in all countries of the region by 2025, said the FAO Regional Office today.

The main tool to achieve this ambitious task is the recently approved Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication of CELAC, created by the countries of the region with technical support from FAO, the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

"The Plan has been a collective effort of all countries, but it certainly could not have happened without the support of FAO", said Daniel Ortega deputy national coordinator of CELAC of Ecuador, representing the Pro-Tempore Presidency of CELAC. "As a region we are carving out a new path. Now it's time to bring our voice to the global debate to address structural challenges that affect our national and regional processes".

In a video-message to the authorities of CELAC and FAO meeting in Santiago to improve the implementation strategy of the CELAC Food Security Plan, Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO Director General, said that, “I am convinced that CELAC’s plan will allow us to consolidate our progress and accelerate change in the direction we want: zero hunger”.

The Director-General stressed that South-South cooperation, solidarity and commitment to regional integration are central elements of the CELAC Food Safety Plan, which will ensure the success of regional efforts to eradicate hunger and poverty.

Beyond the MDGs: the dream of a Hunger Free Latin America and the Caribbean

The FAO Regional Representative Raúl Benítez, recalled that the region pioneered the proposal to not only reduce but eradicate hunger through the Hunger Free Latin America and Caribbean 2025 Initiative (HFLAC). CELAC has joined this regional effort as a new major ally.

Latin America and the Caribbean have already reached the goal of halving the proportion of undernourishment established in the first Millennium Development Goal.  According to FAO, if 2.75 million people overcome hunger in 2015, LAC will be the only region in the world to have achieved the World Food Summit goal.

Four pillars to eradicate hunger

CELAC’s Food Security Plan is based on four pillars that seek to guarantee all dimensions of food security, food access, availability, utilization and stability. The four pillars of the Plan are:

1. Coordinated strategies for food security through national and regional public policies.  Countries will work to strengthen their legal and institutional frameworks for food security, facilitate trade, prevent food losses and waste and promote food supply programs.

Carlos Alvarez, Secretary General of LAIA, stressed that the plan requires that the region "show that we can make a concerted and convergent effort between all the agencies and subregions of Latin America and the Caribbean".

"We believe that if we legislate committedly, we can truly eliminate hunger in the region," explained Maria Augusta Calle, of the Ecuador Parliament and member of the Regional Parliamentary Front Against Hunger (see interview)

2. Timely and sustainable access to safe, adequate, sufficient and nutritious food for all people. Access is the main problem of food security in the region. To address this, the CELAC Plan encourages conditional transfer programs, the improvement of labour markets, and strong support for family farming.

"We are called upon to make a paradigm shift in our modes of production and consumption," said Alicia Bárcena, Secretary of ECLAC.

3. Nutritional wellness for all vulnerable groups:. This pillar of the Food Security Plan promotes school feeding programs, using public procurement to supply these programs with products from family farmers. It also promotes healthy eating habits.

It is the goal of each member state and of FAO that we must not allow one child to go to sleep hungry. We must utilize our production basis to guarantee food security and food sovereignty”, said Caesar Saboto, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Transformation, Forestry, Fishing and Industry Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (see video)

Pillar 4: Ensuring stability of production and timely response to natural and man-made disasters: The creation and maintenance of food reserves, the consolidation of public stocks for emergencies and a strong component of prevention and disaster management are some of the elements of this pillar.

FAO and CELAC: a shared agenda

Besides participating in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of the CELAC Plan, FAO has three regional priorities set by countries in the region, that will strengthen the plan.

The first regional initiative provides support to the Hunger Free Latin America and the Caribbean2025 Initiative, helping countries achieve national food security objectives and strengthening Pillar 1.

The second initiative -Familiar farming and rural territorial development- helps countries develop inclusive policies to support this sector in line with the second pillar of CELAC Plan.

The third initiative focuses on the improvement of food systems in the Caribbean, to address the limited development of value chains for food and feed crops and the limited use of domestic agricultural products, supporting the four pillars of the CELAC plan in Caribbean countries 

"The FAO regional agenda is fully aligned with the priorities of CELAC’s Plan. Our efforts in the region seek to create as many synergies as possible to walk towards zero hunger by 2025”, said FAO’s Regional Representative.