FAO Director-General urges Portuguese-speaking countries to keep fight against hunger and malnutrition at the top of the political agenda

CPLP summit recognizes FAO’s work and Graziano da Silva’s management

18 July 2018, Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde – FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva today urged heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) to keep the fight against hunger high in their national political agendas and continue working to combat the epidemic of obesity and overweight which both developed and developing countries face.

Graziano da Silva also urged the leaders gathered in Cape Verde to redouble their efforts to promote greater adaptation of agricultural sectors to the impact of climate change, which particularly affects family farmers.

In his speech, Graziano da Silva thanked the Portuguese-speaking countries for their support to FAO's work and his management of the organization during the last 7 years, as reflected in the declaration approved today by the CPLP.

"Together, we have already done much in favor of food and nutrition security in the CPLP arena," said Graziano da Silva. He encouraged countries to "continue with firm steps in the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Security Strategy and in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals."

Since 2012, FAO has allocated more than $163 million to projects in CPLP countries.

"The resources deployed by FAO have been important in providing credit and other resources to thousands of family farmers in Mozambique, to combat the effects of drought in Cape Verde, to increase the resilience of communities that rely on fishing in São Tomé and Principe and to boost the production of rice in Guinea Bissau," he said, noting that funding has partially been possible thanks to Brazil's support through the South-South Cooperation mechanisms which FAO promotes.

He also highlighted that, thanks to resources from Equatorial Guinea and Angola, in 2013 FAO coordinated the establishment of the African Solidarity Trust Fund to improve agriculture and food security across the continent. "We also supported the launch of the Action Plan for the Zero Hunger Challenge in Timor-Leste, and we launched the Together Against Hunger campaign in the CPLP," he added.

Boosting National Food and Nutritional Security Councils

As he told the CPLP Council of Food and Nutritional Security (CONSAN-CPLP) earlier this week, Graziano da Silva today reiterated the importance of the National Councils of Food and Nutritional Security, which have been set up in 7 of the bloc’s 9 member countries. He suggested that CONSAN’s regular meetings always be held on the sidelines of CPLP summits.

FAO’s Director-General also congratulated Cape Verde, the host country of the summit, for the recent approval of the law guaranteeing the right to adequate food, a milestone that he described as a great example not only for the rest of the CPLP countries but also for the international community.