The heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have pledged to increase support for regional efforts at addressing the critical food and nutrition security situation in the Niger.
FAO Director-Genera,l José Graziano da Silva, IFAD President, Gilbert F. Houngbo, and WFP Executive Director, David Beasley, jointly made this commitment during a courtesy visit to the President Mahamadou Issoufou and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini of Niger.
The three UN agency chiefs who also visited several projects where collaboration among FAO, IFAD, WFP, the Government of Niger and other partners, noted that they were providing people with new opportunities to feed their families and to build livelihoods.
In his remarks, the Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva said “Working closely together FAO, IFAD and WFP are making a difference in the lives and livelihoods of some of Niger’s most vulnerable people”
“We will strive to build on one another’s strengths and continue working with governments, donors and other partners to scale up our efforts throughout the Sahel region to achieve Zero Hunger.” He added
On his part, IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo noted that “Climate-related events and its impact on people’s food security has a ripple effect on overall stability in the region”.
He stressed that IFAD was committed to working together with FAO, WFP and the Government of Niger to close the gap between humanitarian and long-term development assistance so that farmers can be more resilient to shocks and can sustainably access nutritious foods and improve their incomes.
World Food Programme Executive Director, David Beasley emphasised that WFP ” can only hope to break the cycle of conflict and hunger if we work together, treating every humanitarian challenge as an opportunity to help develop economies and increase stability”.
In Niger, as in other parts of the Sahel, FAO, IFAD and WFP are jointly focusing on addressing poverty, underdevelopment, climate shocks and migration – factors that have all contributed to the region’s critical humanitarian and security situation.
Close to 6 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure in the current lean season.