Director-General  QU Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu

White House Global COVID-19 Summit (Virtual) 

“Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better” 

Video Message


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

22 September 2021

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.         I join you today to give support to President Biden and Vice President Harris for their leadership in the global response to end the COVID-19 pandemic and help countries to build back better.


2.         I also wish to express appreciation for invitation to FAO, as the lead international organization for food and agriculture in the UN, to be part of this critical discussion.


3.         Even before the pandemic the world was not on track to achieve Zero Hunger and end extreme poverty by 2030.


4.         811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020.


5.         The pandemic contributed to the largest single-year increase in global hunger in decades.


6.         From the outset, FAO mobilized all its resources across 150 countries, to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security and nutrition.


7.         FAO also supports all efforts to ensure that extensive immunization - a global public good - is carried out in a science-based, timely, equitable and efficient manner.


8.         Taking into particular consideration for the vulnerable and low-income countries.


9.         We must increase responsible and targeted investment for food security and healthy security.


10.       The pandemic has negatively affected incomes of rural households.


11.       80% of the world’s poorest live in rural areas, working in the agri-food sector, and yet go to bed hungry.


12.       We need a sustainable green recovery, with rural areas and agri-food systems at its core.


13.       Additional shocks, such as extreme weather, conflicts and invasive pests such as desert locusts, significantly compound recovery.


14.       FAO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Program aims to reach large portions of rural populations in the vulnerable countries through the Hand in Hand Initiative,


15.       With an integrated country approach to new hope and opportunity for youth and women in agri-food systems.


16.       Using digital technologies and innovation to assist smallholders in improving productivity, market access and value chain.


17.       FAO is firmly committed to work with Members and partners together,


18.       Through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems.


19.       For Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for All – leaving no one behind!


20.       Thank you.