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Secretary Clinton urges action on food security at FAO meeting

Echoing recent warnings by the FAO about a budding global food crisis, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton counseled representatives at a meeting in Rome on Friday about the dangers of rising prices and enduring shortages of food.

Now, thankfully, the situation we face today is not yet as serious [as the 2007-2008 global food crisis]. But I come before you to reinforce what you are already doing, because we must act now effectively and cooperatively to blunt the negative impact of rising food prices and protect people and communities. We need to respond to the current climb in prices with immediate action while simultaneously deepening our commitment to long-term investments in agriculture and food security worldwide.

Pointing to record high food prices that reached their peak in February and have not yet abated, Secretary Clinton urged short-term collective solutions such as:

  • Committing to strong policy responses and not knee-jerk solutions to food prices
  • Reemphasizing the international community’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and
  • Improving the efficiency of organizations tasked with food aid and security issues.

Also in the speech, Clinton pointed to the role that women play in food security and nutrition for their families.  She cited training programs offered by the U.S. in Kenya to educate women about crops which will provide necessary nutrition to their families.

Concluding her remarks, Secretary Clinton addressed a call to action to the assembled representatives:

I like to look at the headlines, but I like to keep my eye on the trend lines. And the trend lines are that if we do not act now to increase the opportunity for food security, we may never catch up. Demography, climate, other problems are militating against our efforts, which therefore requires us to be even more determined. Let’s move relentlessly ahead in advancing food security not only for more of the world’s people, but a goal of all of the world’s people.

Posted by Michael Lucivero

Photo credit: FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico