ECA and Rome-based UN agencies commit to fighting food insecurity in Africa under shared framework

ECA Executive Secretary Ms. Vera Songwe (PHOTO: ECA)

ADDIS ABABA (ECA)–Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary Vera Songwe on Sept. 4, 2017 met with the principals of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and agreed to work closely with them in a number of areas, including statistics as they seek to address food insecurities on the African continent.

The four leaders agreed to strengthen their relationship so they can effectively deal with food security issues on the continent, with more focus and emphasis being put on areas like statistics, policy development and land with a view to improving agricultural productivity.

The meeting is an acknowledgment that the three United Nations Rome-based agencies offer a vast range of knowledge, financial and technical expertise on issues related to food security, agriculture and nutrition while the ECA on the other hand also has a comparative advantage of a broad knowledge base in discharging its mandate of promoting the economic and social development of its member States, fostering intra-regional integration and international cooperation for Africa’s development.

Ms. Vera Songwe assured that the ECA was ready to deepen its collaboration with the three organizations, adding that the fact that the leaders of the Rome-based UN agencies were in Ethiopia at the same time was a strong indication of how important the issue of food security on the continent was to them.

“Under one roof we have combined knowledge on climate change, food security, and conflict. These issues are relevant for the challenges we face such as migration and must be tackled in a comprehensive way,” she said.

“We have been collaborating already with the three agencies and there’s a lot that can be done if we pull our resources together.”

Ms. Vera Songwe also said the ECA was ready to contribute to the partnership on the policy side and training in particular as the organizations work together in their quest to achieve zero hunger on the continent.

She also emphasized the need for data and statistics to help guide agriculture and land policy, adding this was crucial for the gender agenda and to crowd in private investment.

“This is a great example of how we can work together and move forward as one UN with one goal as we talk about peace, security, development and the sustainable development goals,” she added.

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