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The UN system reponse to the world food security crisis (as of September 2008)

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The UN system has rapidly taken note of the seriousness of the challenges to world food security by the recent dramatic escalation of the food price crisis worldwide and recognized the need for Comprehensive Framework for Action (CFA) to address the crisis and its root causes.

The UN System has mobilized to provide a common response to the crisis that takes into account the comparative advantages of all stakeholders. To this end, and in implementation of the decision of the United Nations System Chief Executive Board at its meeting held in Bern, Switzerland, on 28 and 29 April 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General established a High Level Task Force (HLTF) on the Global Food Security Crisis under his chairmanship, with FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf as ViceChairman, and bringing together the Heads of the United Nations specialized agencies, Funds and Programmes, Bretton Woods institutions and relevant parts of the UN Secretariat, in order to create a prioritized plan of action and coordinate its implementation. The CFA identifies both immediate and longerterm actions that need to begin now and operate in parallel to address the food crisis, to urgently meet immediate needs of vulnerable populations and to urgently build longerterm resilience and contribute to global food and nutrition security. The immediate actions set out how to help vulnerable people now, as both consumers and producers of food? while the longerterm actions are focused on addressing underlying, structural issues to help build resilience and contribute to sustainable improvements in global food security and poverty reduction within the context of the Millennium Development Goals.

While the UN system continues its efforts to galvanize the international community around a set of priority areas to address the food price challenge, work is already underway by UN funds, agencies, and programmes and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the most severely impacted countries.