Parliamentary alliances

FAO partners with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie

Joint projects will aim to address root causes of hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty

28/09/2020 - 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has signed a partnership agreement with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie, recognizing parliamentarians as key actors in the fight to end hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty.

The 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report paints a sobering picture: with just a decade to go to the endpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the number of people affected by hunger and all forms of malnutrition continues to rise. The world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030, and if recent trends continue, the number of people affected by hunger will surpass 840 million by 2030. This is an alarming scenario, even without taking into account the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How can the world end hunger and all forms of malnutrition and transform food systems to provide affordable healthy diets for all? Laws and policies play an important role in helping countries to protect natural resources, minimize food losses, and change the behavior of consumers, all of which can help to make healthy diets more accessible. Under the new partnership, FAO will provide support to the parliamentarians of the Francophonie in developing legal frameworks that adequately address topics central to ending hunger and malnutrition.

As the parliament of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (APF, as it is abbreviated in French) represents a global community of 88 member states and governments. The APF represents the interests and aspirations of the peoples of the French-speaking world and works to promote democracy, the rule of law and the respect of human rights within this community. Members are drawn from La Francophonie’s national and regional parliaments, encouraging cooperation and greater solidarity between parliaments of French-speaking communities, particularly in the parliaments of the global South.

FAO and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie have collaborated on initiatives since 2018, when a delegation from the APF participated in the Global Parliamentary Summit in Madrid. Jacques Krabal, a deputy from France and Secretary General of the APF, delivered a speech to participants, reminding them that hunger and malnutrition are also the effect of political choices.

Marcela Villarreal, FAO’s Director of Partnerships and UN Collaboration, welcomed the partnership. “Parliamentarians are key development actors,” she said. “They play a fundamental role in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie, which brings together parliamentarians from nearly every continent, will be an important partner in helping us to address the development challenges we currently face.”

“The Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie is very pleased to partner with FAO,” said Jacques Krabal. “The primary objective of this collaboration will be to work together to ensure food and nutrition security for populations in French-speaking areas and to fight against food waste. I welcome this meeting of viewpoints between our two organizations, and hope that this cooperation can be advanced through parliamentary alliances, at a time when the world is facing an unprecedented pandemic.”

The partnership will focus on capacity strengthening, joint advocacy and awareness-raising activities across six areas: agroecology; bio-economy, particularly in urban environments; reduction of food waste; access to land, and cross-cutting themes of gender equality and digital innovation in agriculture. FAO and the APF will work together on the development of a number of pilot projects in member countries of the Francophonie.

As one of the first activities within the context of the partnership, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie participated in a virtual dialogue hosted by FAO, IISD and Oxfam, to discuss advancing gender equality in the context of family farming.