Dominica Editor's Choice Press release

A regional commitment is underway for food security and a sustainable future

A regional commitment is underway for food security and a sustainable future

By Mario Lubetkin, FAO Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean for Latin America and the Caribbean

The regional commitment to fight hunger and malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean has made significant progress thanks to the update of the Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication Plan of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) for the period 2024-2030, known as the CELAC FNS Plan. This update was approved and ratified during the VIII Summit of Heads of State and Government of CELAC, held on March 1 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

This commitment evidence Latin America and the Caribbean’s significant contribution to accelerating the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at achieving societies free of hunger, poverty, and inequality in the region.

Our latest estimates show that, in 2022, 6.5 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean suffered from hunger; this represented 2.4 million fewer people than in 2021. But the situation remains critical; hunger continues to affect 43.2 million people in the region.

Likewise, limited access to resources and services, poverty, the aftermath of the pandemic, and conflicts as well as climate-related disasters, among other factors, are affecting the ecosystems on which food production and the livelihoods of farming communities depend and threaten efforts to ensure food security, nutrition and the sustainability of agrifood systems.

In this scenario, the CELAC FNS Plan 2024-2030 is a concrete initiative, reflected in a unanimous response from more than thirty countries, which, at a ministerial level, agreed to update this document to address the challenge of hunger and food insecurity in the region.

The new plan -developed in coordination with the Pro-Tempore Presidency, currently led by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the thirty-three CELAC countries, included broad participation and analysis with technical assistance from FAO, ECLAC, IICA, and ALADI- has become a benchmark for other regions of the world. Its implementation represents a milestone example of the consensus and political commitment of Latin America and the Caribbean.

This plan, structured into four pillars, includes a conceptual basis to guide the countries concerning legal frameworks, sustainable production, access to healthy diets, and agrifood systems resilient to climate change.

2024 could represent a decisive year for Latin America and the Caribbean to make progress in combating hunger and malnutrition and achieving more resilient and sustainable production systems. During 2023, we have consolidated a deep process of alliances, consensus, and dialogue that will soon be part of the FAO Regional Conference.

We are in the final stretch of preparation for our Regional Conference to be held in March in Georgetown, Guyana, where we will facilitate exchanges and discussions that will be essential to guide FAO’s technical cooperation in the design and implementation of plans and projects tailored to the needs of the countries, and in line with the priorities defined by governments at the highest political level.

In this regard, the reflections and resolutions arising from the updating and subsequent approval of the new CELAC FNS Plan also represent a significant contribution to the FAO Regional Conference.

The preparation of the Regional Conference includes an extensive consultation process involving different stakeholders, such as the private sector, academia, civil society, and parliamentary groups; and of course, the participation of government officials from the thirty-three FAO Member Countries; as well as the presence of Heads of State and Ministers of Agriculture and other sectors committed to the search for more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems.

We hope that the results of the Conference, translated into FAO’s mandate, will be consolidated as a tangible response. The success of these efforts will depend on the collaboration of all to make the hope of a world without hunger a reality.

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