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FAO presents plan for eradicating hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean

Fight against hunger and poverty on the table at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit

27 January 2015, San José, Costa Rica - Today FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva presented a new regional Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication by 2025 during a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) taking place here.

"This proposal is a tool to help CELAC countries design national plans to transform their commitment to eradicating hunger and extreme poverty in the region into a reality," said Graziano da Silva.

The plan was developed by FAO -- with support from the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) -- at the request of CELAC governments. It is based on four broad pillars: strategy coordination at the national and regional levels, with a special focus on gender issues; sustainably ensuring access to safe and nutritious foods; widening school feeding programmes with a priority on addressing all forms of malnutrition, from undernutrition to obesity, and; tackling the challenges posed to food security by climate change.

The plan brings together successful experiences in the region, with an eye to facilitating their application in other parts of the world, and seeks to identify and establish linkages that can generate "virtuous circles of development." An example is linking family farming with school feeding programmes.

Regional achievements

According to FAO, Latin America and the Caribbean represent the only region in the world which has collectively achieved the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015. And the region is set to reach the more stringent World Food Summit goal of halving the total number of undernourished people.

FAO's representative to Latin America and the Caribbean, Raúl Benítez, highlighted that "political commitment to food security is what makes the difference between Latin America and the Caribbean and other regions". This commitment is "expressed through a variety of strategies and public policies focused on vulnerable populations," he added.

Benítez noted that the region was a pioneer in proposing to eradicate hunger eradication by 2025, leading to the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative, endorsed by all countries of the region in 2005.

Photo: ©FAO
A farmer feeds her animals on a family farm in Nicaragua.