Rome, Italy: Liberia’s Agriculture Minister, Jeanine M. Cooper, has participated in the 46th International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Governing Council presenting Liberia’s food and agriculture agenda to the global body
The annual Governing Council is IFAD’s main decision-making body. The forty-sixth session, which was held on 14 and 15 February 2023, focused on “Accelerating Action for Food Security”.
Rome remains the world’s capital of global agricultural decisions and policy-making and hosts the headquarters of the three United Nations specialized organizations otherwise known as the Rome-based Agencies (RBAs) which include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Since 1948, the FAO’s headquarters has been in Rome, the Italian capital, and it was later followed by WFP in 1963 and lastly, IFAD established its main offices there in 1976.
According to IFAD, the world is facing the largest food crisis in modern history. Currently, more than one in 10 people are suffering from severe food insecurity and over 3 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet.
At the halfway point towards the 2030 Agenda, this means that progress on SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) is not just off-track, the world is retrogressing instead. According to projections in the most recent State of Food Security and Nutrition report (2022), nearly 670 million people will still be facing hunger in 2030; the same number as in 2015. This would represent a major failure by the global community to deliver on its commitment to leave no one behind.
During the course of last week, RBAs’ Supremos excitingly granted audiences to Liberia’s Agriculture Minister, Jeanine M. Cooper, where she presented His Excellency President George M. Weah’s achievements in food and agriculture and conveyed his strong commitments to food systems food Sovereignty
In separate meetings and accompanied by His Excellency Andrew W. Kronyahn, Liberia’s Ambassador to the Italian Republic and with concurrent accreditations to the RBAs, Minister Cooper met with the FAO’s Director General, Mr. QU Dongyu; President of IFAD, Mr. Alvaro Lario and WFP’s second in command – Ms. Valerie Guarneri, Deputy Executive Director for Programme and Policy Development.
Minister Cooper laid out Liberia’s national priorities in agrifood systems transformation, climate mitigation programs for farmers, and the promotion of agroforestry that will increase agricultural production.
She called for the RBAs support to partner with the Liberian Government on the path forward.