Asia-Pacific Countries Discuss Ways of Improving Livelihoods amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The 36th Asia and Pacific Regional Conference (APRC), convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, in the country's capital, Dhaka.
The FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu, attending the regional conference in person, acknowledged the toll the global pandemic has inflicted on lives and livelihoods of the people of Asia and the Pacific.
He noted there was a long way to go for the region to eliminate hunger and improve nutrition, pointing to a FAO report from last year that found 40 percent of the population were unable to afford a healthy, nutritious diet.
Reversing many years of progress, hunger in Asia and the Pacific is on the rise again, and inequalities are increasing, particularly between rural and urban populations, while too often women and youth are being left behind.
"The pandemic has forced us to reconsider our priorities and approaches and has highlighted the importance of more sustainable and resilient societies, as well as of the urgency to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to secure food, health, education, a healthy environment, and a decent life for all," the Director-General said in a media release on Thursday.
This has led to a movement to transform the region’s agrifood systems and make them more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable, he added.
The Director-General said FAO will be aiming to do this through four Regional Priorities.
They focus on transforming agrifood systems for sustainable production and healthy diets; accelerating sustainable natural resources management for biodiversity conservation and climate action; supporting inclusive rural transformation for sustainable agrifood systems and equitable rural societies, and building sustainable and resilient agrifood systems in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
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