Pakistan participates in FAO Regional Conference on Covid-19

News Desk

BANGKOK: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) convened the 35th session of the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific virtually on September 1-4, 2020.

The conference was hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan, focusing on the regional priorities and pressing issues such as Corona pandemic, the state of agriculture, natural resources management, food security and nutrition, whereas the examples of partnerships, innovation and digital technologies that are helping to improve the food security and nutrition across the region as well as regional and global policy and regulatory matters were also highlighted.

On the third day of the Conference, the FAO Director General QU Dongyu, ministers and civil society and private sector representatives expressed concern over Covid-19's impacts on the food security and livelihood of millions of people and urged greater action to overcome the food and agriculture challenges in the region.

The FAO DG highlighted that small and vulnerable farmers must be at the center of the response. “Small farmers and their families, food workers in all sectors, and those living in commodity and tourism dependent economies are particularly vulnerable. They urgently need our attention,” he said.

“The novel coronavirus has implications for local, national, regional and global policies and it is important that global and local conditions alike are recognized when confronting this pandemic,” said the Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council, Khalid Mehboob.

“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the vulnerability and weaknesses of already fragile global food systems. We must take urgent action to transform our food systems,” stated Thanawat Tiensin, the Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

While representing Pakistan at the Ministerial Session of the Conference, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam said: “During these difficult times of Corona epidemic and locust invasion, we are trying to sustain particularly those people living below the poverty line and with the efforts of the government; there have been transformations in the policies.”

“The FAO 35th Regional Conference has provided a valuable platform for the members to exchange their views, knowledge and experience in addressing the food security and nutrition challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic and in this regard, the Government of Pakistan has actively contributed by sharing perspectives of its development strategy as Pakistan is targeting the population below the poverty line as well as small farmers,” said Mina Dowlatchahi, FAO Country Representative in Pakistan.

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