FAO Director-General’s address at the annual conference of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture.
The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, issued an impassioned plea today (23 March 2021) for the primacy of science in guiding responses to global challenges. He was (virtually) addressing the annual conference of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA), a prestigious European conference on the future of agriculture, food and the environment. Hunger is on the rise, Director-General Qu said in his keynote address, and has been for the last six years. Even before COVID-19 struck, there were nearly 690 million undernourished people; the pandemic likely added a further 132 million to the ranks of the hungry in 2020, he stated, citing FAO’s 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report.
“More than three billion people cannot afford even the cheapest healthy diet,” Qu noted. Far too many children remain stunted. “Food is a basic human right that transcends politics.” Food touches the core of our identity, the Director-General said. “No food, no human beings.”
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