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Food Security

On 29 January 2004, Mr Franco Viciani, FAO Consultant, delivered a seminar on "Food Security and Development". He started his presentation providing the audience with the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) definition of food security described as the condition subsisting "when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life." He also reported about the WFS commitment to halve the number of undernourished (800 million, 1996 FAO estimate) by 2015. In this regard, he documented that progress in reducing undernourishment has reversed and reaffirmed the call of UN for countries and governments to reinforce their endeavors in fighting hunger. In addition, he explained the effects of food insecurity on development such as: reduced working capacity, vulnerability to illness, and inability to invest, ending up in a final negative impact on overall macroeconomic performance.

Furthermore, the lecturer introduced the relation between food security and development. He referred to Dudley Seersí mid 1970ís consideration on the unfeasibility of development if, alongside with economic growth, there is no reduction of poverty, inequality and unemployment. In this context he explained the effects of food insecurity and malnutrition on development and the effects of development on food security also providing an excursus on the evolution and misconceptions of the two notions.

Mr Viciani described the steps leading to the formulation of appropriate food security policies referring first to the need to identify the dimensions, characteristics and location (geographical and social) of poverty and undernourishment and then analyzing the factors that contribute to the generation, permanence and aggravation of poverty and food insecurity.

Finally, Mr Viciani indicated that FAO has recently launched a "twin-track approach" which combines the promotion of broad-based sustainable agricultural and rural development with targeted nutrition interventions.

 

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Last update: 24.05.2004