Statement by QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FOOD FOR GAZA - A Round Table for the Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East focused on Food Security


FOOD FOR GAZA - A Round Table for the Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East focused on Food Security

©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto

FAO thanks the Italian Government, and particularly Deputy Prime Minister Tajani, for the opportunity to have participated in this strategic and timely Round Table, together with other partners, to discuss together the way forward in view of the deteriorating food insecurity situation in Gaza, and the surrounding regions.

I just came back last Friday from Jordan, Egypt, and Algeria where I held discussions with the Heads of Government and Ministers.

The focus of the Government of Italy on the urgent food security needs in Gaza, and their practical support to FAO and the other agencies is vital and welcomed.

Today’s meeting launches an important initiative aimed at addressing recovery efforts in Gaza, and to help resume key activities of affected agrifood systems and provide farmers with emergency agricultural aid for food production.

Today is also the first day of Ramadan so we need to make every effort and use all means at disposal to help the people of Gaza as they start to observe this important religious period.

Today, FAO has come to support Deputy Prime Minister Tajani, and over the past 157 days we have been doing all that is necessary to try and provide important agricultural inputs, such as animal fodder that will keep animals alive and ultimately provide fresh milk for children. Going forward, other important inputs to support the production of nutritious foods like fish, fruits and vegetables will be needed.

We have worked with the Italian Government and other agencies, and we appreciate the USD 7 million provided by Italy to support the delivery of food and agriculture inputs into Gaza, where food accessibility and availability is highly compromised and farmers, fishers and herders lack the means to produce food.

We are also supporting Egypt as an important point of access into Gaza, and we depend on our colleagues from WFP and other agencies to reach the population of Gaza where the risk of famine is increasing daily.

The most recent inter-agency Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase Classification shows a concerning trajectory towards starvation – with 378 000 people at risk. Most of the population is currently facing IPC Phase 3 Crisis Acute Malnutrition, and even famine, which is devastating, and which demands that we work together immediately.

The situation is most concerning in northern Gaza, where humanitarian access is most limited.

We applaud the efforts by Deputy Prime Minister Tajani who is working within the context of the G7 to support efforts for a humanitarian corridor, bringing together all political efforts, and coordinating our collective efforts as the international community to ease civilian suffering and to facilitate delivery of urgent assistance at scale.

Peace is a prerequisite for food security and the Right to Food is a basic human right.

Thank you.


FAO News and Media (+39) 06 570 53625 [email protected]