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

    Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

    Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

    Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

    Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

    Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

    Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
    Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
    X
    Mahi Ramakrishnan
    September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
    Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
    Video

    Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

    Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
    Video

    Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

    President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
    Video

    Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

    Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
    Video

    Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
    Video

    Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

    As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
    Video

    Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

    At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
    Video

    Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

    Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
    Video

    Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

    In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
    Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

    AppleAndroid