The CFS is the United Nations' forum for reviewing policies concerning world food. It is the most inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all relevant stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition.
14 December 2009 – The United Nations agency that promotes commerce to fight poverty kicked off a meeting today aimed at finding ways in which trade, investment and technology transfers between developing countries – so-called “South-South” cooperation – can improve farming to boost food security in poorer nations.
Experts from more than 20 countries gathered at the headquarters of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva for the three-day meeting on “international cooperation: South–South cooperation and regional integration.”
10 December 2009 – A United Nations gathering aimed at tackling some of the urgent problems suffered by the mounting number of refugees seeking shelter in cities and towns has wrapped up today with calls for greater efforts to help the forcibly displaced.
More than half of the 10.5 million refugees served by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) now live in urban areas, with only a third sheltering in tents in sprawling camps and the remainder living outside camps in rural areas.
9 December 2009 – The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) raised a record $424 million at its annual pledging session today as top officials warned of rising needs in 2010 for one of the world’s leading tools in disaster response, whether for sudden-onset crises such as earthquakes or ongoing but neglected emergencies.
“That’s more than we’ve raised at any similar pledging meeting before, so that’s extremely encouraging particularly when you consider we’re doing that against the background of a major economic and financial crisis which has affected the budgets of many donor countries in a very significant way,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters.
9 December 2009 – With the frequency and severity of droughts likely to increase due to climate change, more than 60 scientists from all the world’s regions are meeting at a United Nations-backed conference in the United States this week to draw up guidelines for early warning systems that could save countless lives.
“Early warning systems for drought allow individuals and communities to act in sufficient time to reduce the possibility of loss of life, personal injury, and damage to property and fragile environments,” the Director of the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch, Mannava K. Sivakumar, said, stressing his agency’s key role.
9 December 2009 – The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe, plagued in recent years by food shortages, an erosion of basic services and an economic downturn due in part to long-running political strife, has significantly improved but continued aid is still needed to maintain the positive gains, a top United Nations official said today.
“Any sudden shock can wipe out the recent gains,” Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg said at the end of a three-day visit. “We must continue working together to avoid losing the momentum. The international community has been generous to the people of Zimbabwe in 2009 by granting $642 million for humanitarian needs. It is my hope that this will continue well into 2010.”
9 December 2009 – The top United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today called for the country’s key partners to ensure they work together in a more coordinated and streamlined way to move forward with supporting national development efforts.
“There is no other choice. We all have to change our mindset and be more geared towards a coordinated approach,” Kai Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said of the assistance rendered by the UN, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the European Union and key donors.
9 December 2009, Rome - Global food prices are on the ascent again with the FAO Food Price Index – a food basket composed of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar – registering four straight monthly rises.
However market conditions are different from those that triggered the food price crisis that started two years ago, FAO said in its December Food Outlook report published today.
The index averaged 168 points in November, the highest since September 2008. That was still 21 percent below its peak in June 2008. Prior to the price spike of 2007/08, the index never exceeded 120 points and, for most of the time, was below 100points.
8 December 2009 – War-torn and drought-ravaged Somalia is facing a humanitarian crisis with no funding so far raised or pledged for next year for food, water, sanitation, health and other vital needs and the potential that the situation could spill over into a major regional crisis for its neighbours, senior United Nations officials warned today.
“The main message that we have is that the potential humanitarian funding crisis is life-threatening, it threatens a large proportion of the population,” UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Bowden told a news briefing in New York, noting that UN agencies are going into a new humanitarian funding cycle with no carry-over finances,
8 December 2009 – Some 4.8 million Ethiopians will require emergency food and related aid costing $270 million for the first six months of 2010 in a country already plagued by prolonged drought and crop failure, according to United Nations estimates released today.
“Despite the collaborative efforts of the Government and humanitarian partners to address ongoing humanitarian challenges in Ethiopia, humanitarian needs are expected to remain,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, citing a joint plan led by Ethiopian authorities, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donors.
FAO policy brief
1 December 2009, Rome - Farming practices that capture carbon and store it in agricultural soils offer some of the most promising options for early and cost-effective action on climate change in developing countries, while contributing to food security, FAO said in a policy brief prepared for the Copenhagen summit.
Yet agriculture has been largely excluded from the main climate financing mechanisms under discussion in Denmark, the agency said.