The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) held an event to celebrate three important days on the World Food Day, International Day and National Week for the Eradication of Poverty in 2022 under the slogan “Leave no one behind”: better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.
The World Food Day, in particular, calls for global solidarity to ensure that no one is left behind when acting on the multiple challenges we face today such as extreme poverty and malnutrition in all its forms, conflict, climate change, inequality and the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. All these, especially the COVID-19, have set back progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enshrined in the UN’s Agenda 2030, undermining decades of development efforts.
The event, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Phet Phomphiphak, informed honourable guests on the progress and success that the Lao PDR has adopted sustainable development goals to eliminate poverty and hunger, and especially policies, to promote food security and rural development, amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Worldwide, 75 percent of poor and food insecure people rely on agriculture and natural resources for their living. They are usually the hardest hit by natural and man-made disasters and often marginalized due to their gender, ethnic origin, or status. It is a struggle for them to gain access to training, finance, innovation and technologies.
FAO Representative to the Lao PDR, Mr. Nasar Hayat, emphasised that the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals must be met, no matter what, for everyone everywhere and the transformation of agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, is key to ensuring progress for all.
“Transformative pathways may include: integrating humanitarian, development and peacebuilding policies in conflict areas; scaling up climate resilience across agri-food systems; strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable to economic adversity; intervening along supply chains to lower the cost of nutritious foods; tackling poverty and structural inequalities; and strengthening food environments and changing consumer behaviour to promote healthy diets that include sustainability consideration,” said he.
On this occasion, Mr. Nasar Hayat congratulated the Government of the Lao PDR, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to have successfully led the National Food Systems Summit Dialogues 2021 in close collaboration with UN agencies, relevant line ministries and a wide range of stakeholders with the aim of identifying pathways towards more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable food systems in the Lao PDR.
Mr. Nasar Hayat praised that the Lao PDR has proactively shared its experiences, aspirations and commitments at the Asia-Pacific Food Systems Summit Dialogues, the Food Systems Pre-Summit in Rome and at the UN Food Systems Summit, where the world coming together, committing to transform our global agri-food systems together. Specifically, a new initiative on “One Country – One Priority Product” has been Initiated, along with the Hand-In-Hand Initiative to turn the Laos-China railway into a green growth corridor.
FAO is working with countries, including the Lao PDR, to make sure that no one is left behind through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, sustainable and resilient agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life. We work in over 130 countries supporting governments and communities to strengthen policy and action in all parts of agri-food systems in pursuit of these goals.
The event was celebrated at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) and received support from a wide of stakeholders, namely the private sector, academia, and civil society and individuals from all sectors of society, including youth.
Source: Lao News Agency