FAO in North America

U.S. Congressional Delegation Meets with Senior Leaders of Rome-Based Agencies


29 August 2021, Rome, Italy - Four Members of the U.S. House of Representatives traveled to Rome to meet with FAO’s Deputy Director General, Beth Bechdol; Gilbert Huongbo, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); and Gresham Barrett, Senior Director of the World Food Programme (WFP). The members included RepresentativeDavid Price (D-NC) , Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), each either a Member of the House Democracy Partnership or the NATO Interparliamentary Counciland Cheryl L. Johnson, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives  

During their meeting with Deputy Director General Bechdol and the WFP and IFAD counterparts, the group exchanged ideas on numerous issues related to the global challenge of food insecurity and focused on key areas of conflict including Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, where governance issues are critical to both emergency humanitarian and development responses.     

The group also touched on broader challenges such as the global threat of pests and zoonotic diseases and important policy considerations surrounding nutrition, food loss and waste, climate change, and a myriad of other related and timely topics.  

Additionally, they spoke about the importance of innovation and private sector partnerships in ensuring an efficient global agri-food system. More specifically, the delegation considered the need for engagement and investment from private sector entities to assist conflict-afflicted regions. Innovation for food system enhancement from the public sector was recognized as critical, with alternatives to traditional production-oriented subsidy models discussed. 

Following the robust conversationsDeputy Director General Bechdol described the meeting as a “candid and valuable exchange with the lawmakers.