KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday March 6, 2018 – The Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations’ Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean kicked off yesterday with the signing of an agreement between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and FAO.
The agreement will allow FAO to provide better technical assistance in projects in which CDB is the financier. It will also permit FAO to directly execute projects with funds from the CDB, and forboth organizations to provide joint assistance to countries of common membership.
“We need closer ties between FAO and other development partners if we are to tackle the main challenges that threaten regional food security – rising hunger and overweight, rural poverty and climate change,” said FAO’s Subregional Coordinator ad interim for the Caribbean, Lystra Fletcher-Paul.
“Hunger and malnutrition are on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean. During the Regional Conference we are developing multiples alliances, such as the one we have signed today, to reverse the trend.”
Daniel Best, Director of Projects at CDB, who signed the agreement on behalf of the bank, said the Bank welcomed the new agreement which will broaden and strengthen collaboration that has been ongoing since 1986.
“Today, through the signing of this document, we are opening the door for our regional members to achieve even greater development gains in agriculture through our partnership,” he said.
The FAO and CDB signed the agreement in Montego Bay, as Jamaica hosts the FAO’s mayor governing body – the Regional Conference – which is being attended by Ministers of Agriculture, Health, Education, Environment and Social Development from all its member countries.
The FAO said this year’s conference is particularly important as hunger in the region has risen for the first time in decades, obesity has become an epidemic, rural poverty is also on the rise, and countries struggle to adapt to climate change.
“We need high-level, large-scale interventions to address these challenges. That requires innovation, to create new and improved strategies. That will be one of the main focus areas of our discussions during the next four days,” contended explained Fletcher-Paul.