News / Africa

Incoming FAO Director Sets Priorities

Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), adjusts his glasses as he leads a news conference at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Jan. 3, 2012.
Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), adjusts his glasses as he leads a news conference at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Jan. 3, 2012.

Jose Graziano da Silva, the new director-general of the U.N. food agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, said Tuesday his top priority is eliminating hunger, undernourishment and increasing food security.

Two days after taking office, da Silva said he personally has no time to lose, as his term in office will be only three-and-one-half years.

"FAO will scale up its support on a number of low-income food deficit countries, especially those facing prolonged crisis," he said.

Nearly one billion people are estimated to suffer from chronic hunger, and many countries are far from achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing that number by 50 percent by 2015.

Graziano da Silva is the eighth person to head the organization since its establishment after World War II, succeeding Jacques Diouf of Senegal who held the post from 1994 to 2011.

Biography of FAO chief

  • Jose Graziano da Silva, the new director-general of the U.N. food agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, has worked on food security, rural development and agriculture issues for more than 30 years.
  • He led the team that designed Brazil's "Zero Hunger" program in 2001. That program helped lift 28 million people out of extreme poverty between 2003 and 2010.
  • Before being elected as the FAO’s new director-general, Graziano da Silva headed the organization’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean.  During that time he supported an initiative to make the region the first in the world to commit to eradicating hunger by 2025.
  • Da Silva has written and edited 26 books on rural development, food security and agrarian economics.
  • He is Brazilian and Italian.  He speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish. He was born on November 17, 1949, and is married with two children.
  • "Africa will remain indeed a priority during my mandate, da Silva said. "I will travel to the continent at the end of January to participate in the African Union summit and visit the Horn of Africa to see the situation and the work being done and firsthand."

    The new FAO chief warned that difficult economic circumstances may lead to a reduction in funds for development. He said he would prepare for the organization's regional conference that he said would be held early this year.  Da Silva laid out five strategic priorities.

    "Eradicate hunger, move toward a more sustainable system of production and consumption, achieve greater fairness in the global management of food, complete FAO’s reform in pushing for decentralization, and expand south-south cooperation."

    He added that one of the FAO’s main challenges is to be more efficient and responsive and promised to look for ways to strengthen the organization’s technical work and reduce administrative costs, while working closer with member countries, U.N. agencies, and the private sector.

    Graziano da Silva made it clear that political will translated into action is needed to end hunger, and this requires the commitment of everyone.   He said neither the FAO nor any other agency or government will win this war alone.

    You May Like

    Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

    Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

    Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

    Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

    Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

    Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
    X
    George Putic
    January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
    The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

    The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

    Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
    Video

    Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

    As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
    Video

    Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

    The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

    Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
    Video

    Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

    In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
    Video

    Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

    The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
    Video

    Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

    Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
    Video

    Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

    Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

    In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
    Video

    Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

    The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
    Video

    Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

    It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

    Circumventing Censorship

    An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

    As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
    More

    All About America

    AppleAndroid