The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) closed its week-long governing Conference today with a billion-dollar budgetary boost and a call to renew its efforts towards geographical decentralization – a step that will bring the United Nations agency in closer contact with those populations it is mandated to support.
“If FAO's main mission is to end hunger and malnutrition, then FAO needs to offer holistic support, needs to support sustainable production and management of natural resources, needs to be able to offer support in social protection to reduce rural poverty, needs to improve access to markets by family farmers and needs to help build resilience in rural populations,” declared FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in his closing remarks.
Mr. Graziano da Silva's words came as he greeted the Conference's decision to approve a regular budget of just over $1 billion for the delivery of FAO's programme of work over the 2016-2017 period in which the UN agency is expected to continue in its fight against the eradication of hunger, for raising levels of nutrition and for addressing climate change.
At the same time, the Director-General reassured the 1,700 delegates attending the Conference regarding the Organization's plans to decentralize on a region-specific basis.
This, he added, would include reinforcing FAO's sub-regional offices and see the improvement of the agency's support in regions such as West Africa, Central Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to do this without weakening the technical and normative capacity at Headquarters,” he continued.
“This is not magic. It is the result of streamlining administrative procedures, of cutting red tape so that we can do more and better with less.”