The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Kingdom of Spain, acknowledged their combined efforts to combat global hunger and malnutrition in the past decade, and pledged to further reinforce their association in the future.

The director-general of FAO, QU Dongyu, was joined by Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas Puchades, and Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, at a virtual event to unveil the 1st edition of their Partnership Report titled as FAO plus Spain: Working for global food security and nutrition to mark their long-standing co-operation.

QU Dongyu stated- “The strategic alignment between our priorities is steadfast and so is the foundation of our long standing partnership. It reflects our shared goals and historic commitment to eradicate global hunger and malnutrition.”

Minister Planas Puchades extolled FAO for ‘the tremendous role’ it is playing and emphasized that Government of Spain and FAO were working collaboratively to find global solutions to tackle malnutrition and hunger so that no one was left behind.

The Partnership Report displays the nature and scope of the cooperation between FAO and Spain over the past ten years and underscores areas where results were accomplished at a global, regional and country level, thanks to Spain’s continued assistance for FAO from 2010 to 2020.

“The report we are launching today conveys the spirit of our excellent collaboration. It shows how our joint efforts have translated into concrete results on the ground,” the director-general asserted.

He expressed gratitude to the minister for the nation’s magnanimous funding and assistance – €245 million – for more than 240 programmes and projects while noting the major opportunities for further cooperation and knowledge exchange.

Secretary of State Moreno Bau cited several initiatives underpinned by Spain in Africa, Asia, and Central America to highlight Spain’s commitment and shared goals with FAO to eliminate hunger and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Spain’s targets have long been closely in line with FAO’s strategic framework and regional priorities. In recent years, Spain’s assistance has aimed on Latin America and the Caribbean, the Near East and North Africa as well as Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nevertheles, joint endeavours to improve food security, safeguard the livelihoods of farming families and enhance the resilience of rural communities and prop up activities aligned with achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become even more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The director-general recalled loving memories of his trip to Spain on the margins of COP25 in December 2019, and how he enjoyed witnessing first-hand the Spanish olive sector, indicative of Spanish agriculture, and other agricultural activities during his visit to Córdoba. He also recollected his visit to the facilities of the International Agrifood Campus of International Excellence of the University of Córdoba, and the Olive Germplasm Bank.

During his intervention, the director-general also underscored Spain’s assistance for the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), for which FAO has designated four Spanish rural

For many years Spain has been a significant partner and worked closely with FAO, mainly focusing on the fisheries sector and the promotion of policies that assure the right to food, preserve plant genetic resources and food security.

“I highly commend Spain’s determination to ensure that the fight against hunger and malnutrition remains high on the global political agenda, a commitment that has, over the years, reached the highest levels of leadership in the country,” Qu asserted.

In June 2015, Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain was designated FAO Special Ambassador for Nutrition. In that role, Queen Letizia is responsible for raising awareness of global hunger challenges and building support for hunger eradication. The director-general recollected his meeting with Queen Letizia in 2019 and her interest in FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative and the Youth and Women Committees of FAO.

The director-general also alluded to his meeting with Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez during COP25 where they discussed about strengthening the association.

Spain desires to continue to emphasize on projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, West Africa and the Sahel, as well as the Near East and North Africa.

FAO recently signed partnership agreements with a number of Spanish entities: the Autonomous Regional Government of Galicia; Valencia City Council; the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP); the Spanish and Portuguese-language media company, PRISA Group; Carlos III University; the Polytechnic University of Madrid; the city council of Madrid and publicly-owned enterprises such as the Spanish Development Fund, COFIDES, and agrarian transformation company, Tragsa.

Spain has been backing up a project under the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean 2025 Initiative.

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