CFS 49 - Opening remarks by Gilbert Houngbo, IFAD President
IFAD Asset Request Portlet
CFS 49 - Opening remarks by Gilbert Houngbo, IFAD President11 October 2021
I wish I could join you today in person. Unfortunately, I am not able to, but I am glad to have this opportunity for a video address.
We are all very aware of the alarming findings of the latest SOFI report. So permit me to focus on just two of its key findings.
Around 3 billion people do not have sufficient access to healthy diets due to high levels of poverty and income inequality and between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020 – That is around 118 million to 161 million more than in 2019.
This unacceptable situation is one that the international community can and must solve considering that we have barely nine years to make a difference on our journey to Agenda 2030.
To do this, the just ended food systems summit reaffirmed that we must be united, and approach food security and nutrition from a food systems perspective – transforming the way we grow, harvest, process, package, market, and comsume food.
The momentum gained from the summit must propel us forward and I believe our starting point must be rural areas, because this is where the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people reside – yet, these areas are critical for food security and nutrition.
When small-scale producers thrive, so do surrounding communities. People eat better, live better, and earn more from economic opportunities generated.
Importantly, these small-scale producers need to be fairly compensated. And they also need the right investments and transformative policy support to thrive.
Such polices, according to the CFS HLPE report on impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition, should include mechanisms to protect farmers and small-scale producers from uncertainties and income losses. These mechanisms include improved access to markets, transfers, insurances, and inputs.
The CFS is an important partner in this effort because of its uniqueness as a catalytic platform with a broad range of constituencies and inter-disciplinary mechanisms that all support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Decade of Action.
For example, the CFS High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) played an important role in drawing attention to the most vulnerable and marginalized people within our food systems.
And the CFS has championed a number of innovative approaches, including the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition; and the Policy Recommendations on Agroecology – working closely with IFAD on both.
IFAD stands ready to join forces with all of our partners here today to make sure our investments are pro-poor and inclusive – and contribute to improved food security and nutrition for all.