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

    Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

    Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

    Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

    Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

    US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

    Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
    Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
    Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
    Video

    Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

    Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
    Video

    Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

    The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
    Video

    Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

    Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
    Video

    Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

    A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
    Video

    Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

    The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
    Video

    Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

    Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
    Video

    Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

    A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

    When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

    AppleAndroid