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

20th Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers

of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) 

Video Message


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

23 September 2021


Ladies and gentlemen,


1.         This year, more than ever, we must focus on “leaving no one behind”.


2.         Recognizing the importance of a sustainable recovery for ALL,


3.         And taking into consideration the distinct challenges presented by the current pandemic on specific countries.


4.         The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 showed an increase of up to 161 million more people facing hunger in 2020 relative to 2019.


5.         But most importantly, our projections estimate that about 30 million more people may face hunger by 2030 due to the effects of the pandemic.


6.         This figure alone highlights that the pandemic will have a lasting effect on global food security.


7.         And this will mainly affect LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS.


8.         COVID-19 is worsening the plight of Landlocked Developing Countries.


9.         FAO is committed to working together with the international community to address the special challenges of LLDCs.


10.       In 2019, FAO launched the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, an evidence-based, country-led and country-owned initiative to accelerate agri-food systems transformation and sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty (SDG 1), end all forms of malnutrition (SDG2), and reduce inequality (SDG 10).


11.       The Hand-in-Hand Initiative prioritizes support to countries where national capacities and international support are the most limited.


12.       Or where operational challenges, including natural or man-made crises, are the greatest – including LLDCs.


13.       With an innovative matchmaking approach to strengthen existing and attract new donor relationships, the Initiative builds complementary partnerships to mobilize additional means of implementation through concrete investments.


14.       To date, 45 countries have joined the Hand-in-Hand Initiative – and one-third of them are LLDCs.  


15.       FAO also actively contributes to the Vienna Programme of Action by providing support to:

•          strengthen national statistical systems in areas of food security and nutrition;

•          accelerate inclusive growth through innovations such as blockchain and other digital technologies to strengthen and expand linkages along value chains; and

•          enhance access to adequate, affordable, nutritious and healthy food.


Dear Colleagues,


16.       Today, the international community is gathering virtually at the United Nations Food Systems Summit to call on all of us collectively to transform agri-food systems.


17.       FAO has been participating actively in the lead up to the Summit, and will play a leading role in the follow-up to the Summit outcomes.


18.       FAO’s new Strategic Framework 2022-2031 aims to transform towards MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind.


19.       We look forward to continuing to work with the LLDS - Hand-in-Hand - to transform agri-food systems!


20.       Thank you.