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

    At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

    First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

    Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

    When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

    Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

    Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
    Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
    X
    Al Pessin
    July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
    The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
    Video

    Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

    The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
    Video

    Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

    When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
    Video

    Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

    President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
    Video

    Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

    The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
    Video

    Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

    Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
    Video

    Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

    Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
    Video

    Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

    U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

    Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
    Video

    Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

    Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

    AppleAndroid