Jos? Graziano da Silva ? FAO Director-General

Jos? Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the United Nations? Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says  improving food security in the Sahel will contribute to peace and stability in the region.

This was contained in a press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Monday.

The statement said the Director-General was addressing a meeting on the Sahel situation called by the UN Secretary-General?s Special Envoy on the Sahel who is former Italian Prime Minister and EU Commission President Romano Prodi.

?Investing in food security in the Sahel is also an investment in a peaceful and more stable future.

There is a clear linkage between hunger and conflict; food security and peace in Africa. In the Sahel, we are seeing how food insecurity, hunger, and the dispute over natural resources cause conflicts. Hunger can both trigger conflicts and be a result of conflict.

So we cannot treat food security as being separated from security and development as a whole?, the statement quoted Graziano da Silva.

It said over one billion euro had been mobilized for the Sahel by the international community this year, ?and we are glad to see that famine has been averted,? it added.

?But more needed to be done: It is essential to step up support and also combine short-term humanitarian responses with longer-term development actions.

We need to make livelihoods more resilient. And we need to ensure that our interventions in different areas ? food security and nutrition, agriculture, health, education and security ? are as integrated as possible.

FAO is committed to working more closely and better with you under African leadership, to promote sustainable development in the Sahel,? the statement said.

?I believe there is the political will to end hunger in the Sahel. I recently returned from a trip to Niger. What I saw was encouraging.

It convinced me that there is hope; that there is political will to reverse the negative trends leading to food insecurity in the region,? said Graziano da Silva.

Source: GNA

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