With the Covid-19 pandemic not showing any signs to halt yet , the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has convened a virtual meeting , beginning from the 1st September. 46 representatives from the FAO member countries in the Asia and Pacific nations will take part in this meeting to meticulously deliberate on the pressing issues. Bhutan is hosting this meeting.
This is the 35th session of the FAO APRC (Asia Pacific Regional Conference) which is taking place in the grim reality of Asia being home to over half of the world’s undernourished. There is also a growing fear that the current pandemic can push that figure to 330 million by 2030. Over 400 delegates have been brought from government, private sector and civil society organizations to plan responses and recovery to address the joint pandemics of Covid-19 and hunger.
Alka Bhargava , Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare , said that India has taken swift action to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic , which has so far claimed over 800,000 lives globally , and this has coincided with the rabi harvesting in India.
The conference will put in focus the recently unveiled FAO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme that emphasizes on a flexible and harmonized global effort with an aim to ensure access to nutritious food for everyone. The new programme is premised on the synchronization of all forms of resources and partnerships at country, regional and global level. The immediate issue is to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic while boosting the food resilience and livelihood infrastructure globally.
There will be a heightened focus on new channels like the e-commerce and better storage mechanisms that are central to ensuring the flow of nutritious foods and also help those who are linked to the food and agriculture sectors.