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


Inaugural High Level Dialogue:

The impact of global crisis on food security: women as key agents in transforming agrifood systems

Opening Remarks


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

As prepared

27 May 2022



Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. Around the world, the food security crises are preventing us from achieving the 2030 Agenda.


2. Hunger is rapidly increasing.


3. Nearly 2.4 billion people did not have access to adequate food in 2020.


4. An increase of 320 million people in just one year, worldwide.


5. Conflict, climate shocks and economic downturns continue to push millions of people into hunger.


6. Conflict remains the single greatest driver of hunger in food crisis “hotspot” countries,


7. And the overlap with the COVID-19 pandemic has led to alarming situations.


8. Poverty and inequality – in particular gender inequality – is making the situation even worse.


9. In every part of the world, food insecurity is higher among women than among men.


10. Our efforts thus far to achieve a world free from hunger are not enough.


11. To ensure sustained food security and nutrition, we must transform our agrifood systems to ensure global equity.


12. To do achieve this, we must urgently invest in the high productive potential of women and youth.


13. Women comprise about 48% of the rural agricultural workforce in low-income countries, and 37% worldwide.


14. But this contribution could effectively be much higher than the official data reveals.


15. Everywhere, rural women face gender-based constraints that limit their potential.


16. Women are key actors across agrifood systems, and key contributors to agricultural and rural development.


17. But if we want to build agrifood systems that benefit all people, leaving no one behind, we must overcome gender inequality.


18. The FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 prioritizes rural women's engagement and leadership across agrifood systems.


19. The transformation of agrifood systems requires a multi-sectoral and multi-partnership approach.


20. The Food Coalition supports this approach and aims to facilitate collective global actions in response to food crises across the world.


21. The strategic role of the Food Coalition is acknowledged in the G20 Matera Declaration and the G20 Rome Leaders' Declaration, as a global alliance to provide political leadership and mobilize financial, policy and technical support for countries most in need.


22. With a particular focus on smallholder farmers, youth and women, which is at the center of today’s Dialogue.


23. The Food Coalition is continuing to support the work and priorities set by the G20 presidencies to renew global commitment at the highest level to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.


24. I would like to thank the Government of Italy for proposing the establishment of the Food Coalition and for its continuous commitment and support.


25. I would also like to thank the Government of Israel for its support, and I hope more countries will engage, support and invest in the Food Coalition.


Dear Colleagues,


26. We must act now to transform our agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.


27. To reach this objective we need the full participation of women in developing and implementing solutions.


28. I wish you a fruitful panel discussion.


29. Thank you.