The head of the United Nations food agency today welcomed the declaration by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation underlining the critical role that investment in food security, agriculture and infrastructure plays in feeding people on the continent.
World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Josette Sheeran noted that for decades the agency has helped people in China and Africa access the food they need to live healthy, productive lives.
“We have helped farmers feed their families, while supporting them as they improve their land, dig wells, and build roads and clinics and schools,” Ms. Sheeran said in her statement, applauding the pledges for further support made at the Forum, which wrapped up today in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
“In the midst of humanitarian emergencies, WFP has also rebuilt roads, ports and airstrips to reduce the cost of delivering humanitarian aid,” she said. “By strengthening infrastructure, WFP has helped to cut the cost of transporting people and goods over the long term.”
Ms. Sheeran noted that China’s own success in addressing malnutrition and bolstering food security stands as an example to the world that hunger can be beaten in a generation, especially when small farmers are given access to credit and markets.
“WFP is looking to replicate this success by supporting small farmers in regions like sub-Saharan Africa, where – last year – it purchased $427 million worth of food from farmers in 15 countries across the continent,” said Ms. Sheeran.