FAO in North America

Today’s Featured Perspectives Essays

Submitted by Amy McMillen on September 19, 2014

By Amy McMillen, Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator, FAO-Washington, DC

Curated by the FAO Liaison Office for North America with the World Food Day NetworkPerspectives is an essay series that digs deeper into the annual World Food Day theme.  This year, read different points of view on the value and future of family farming from farmers, ranchers, and leaders in agriculture, research and economics.  Two essays will be featured daily starting September 15 through October 16, World Food Day.

Rounding out this first week of Perspectives, Richard McCarthy, Executive Director of Slow Food USA examines the many benefits arising from the increase in farmers markets across the United States.  “Their impact is felt far beyond their scale: They have inspired other consumer purchasing schemes, like CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture, food hubs (new, mission-driven wholesale distribution centers), and fresh food financing. 20 years ago, these did not exist.”  In addition, this recognition of the role of direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables in improving health and livelihoods for all has inspired new innovative schemes to link high-health risk and low-income individuals with vulnerable small farmers for a win-win economic, health and well-being scenario.

Stephanie Hillyard from Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada, tells the story of growing up a farmer’s daughter. Fresh from the farm produce, meat and even homemade bread sound like high living to most of us, but for Stephanie, these were all part of the daily meal routine. Her story helps us see how farmers live differently and think differently than maybe the rest of us, but that farmers everywhere, from Canada to Taiwan, completely understand each other.

Read both article’s in today’s Perspectives.

FAO South Sudan Rep: Emergency Assistance Reaches 1.5 million; Funds Needed Urgently to Mitigate Alarming Food and Nutrition Insecurity

Submitted by Lívia Pontes on September 19, 2014

By Lívia Pontes, Communications Consultant, FAO, Washington, DC.

On Monday, FAO North America hosted Sue Lautze, FAO representative and UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, at a briefing about the crisis in the country. Since last December, the world’s youngest nation has been mired in conflict.  Political disputes in the government led to clashes and ethnic violence that displaced 1.3 million people and caused an additional 500,000 to flee to neighboring countries.

Dr. Sue Lautze, FAO South Sudan Rep and UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, presented an overview of FAO's emergency work in South Sudan.

Dr. Lautze described the challenges agencies face to help the people in South Sudan, FAO’s newest member country. As a result of the crisis, the food insecure population has tripled, spiking at over 7 million people, 60% of the population, rendering them at risk of hunger and malnutrition. Delivering aid is hampered by lack of access due to violence or the country’s rainy season, which has left some 90% of roads in the conflict-affected states under water.

FAO has assisted 1.5 million people since the beginning of the crisis. Humanitarian action has measurable impact, including mitigating the risk of famine. Lautze described this important progress as encouraging but “fragile, partial, temporary and expensive”. As the country moves towards dry season later this year, much rests on the fate of the ongoing peace talks. Even under the best of political scenarios, however, extensive damage to market networks, limited production and restrictions on livelihood systems will see a return to increasing food and nutrition insecurity from early next year.

FAO, in close collaboration with other UN agencies and NGOs, has delivered assistance in the form of emergency kits and fuel efficient stoves. It has also been a leading voice on the food and nutrition security situation and has maintained a robust development programme. Crop kits provide a family with staples such as maize, sorghum, legumes and sesame, and the vegetable kits last up to 6 months, providing a varied and nutrient-dense diet. Notwithstanding the crisis, FAO in South Sudan is promoting capacity building and income generating activities in areas less affected by the conflict. Hundreds of people are being trained as animal health workers in their communities, and a recently concluded 3-month pilot program improved the skills of master trainers for pastoralist field schools.

FAO is appealing for immediate contributions totalling $50 million dollars to continue the emergency response through 2014 and to purchase supplies for next year. This is an urgent request because tools, seeds, fishing supplies, animal health worker kits and other inputs need to be pre-positioned in the affected areas now, before the rainy season makes it extremely difficult and exceedingly expensive to do so. If this goal is met, she estimates FAO can more than double its current reach, assisting over 3.3 million people. With the sustained help of donors, FAO and its more than 50 NGO partners can help prevent the loss of another generation of South Sudanese to hunger and malnutrition.

Reflecting on the work of FAO in the crisis, Lautze said “I am incredibly proud of the 184 members of the FAO South Sudan team. They are delivering at a rate that is literally ten times faster than last year even as so many of them are managing the personal challenges of life in South Sudan today. Some have yet to be able to return to their homes since the beginning of the crisis. It is both inspiring and humbling in equal measure.”

To view Dr. Lautze’s power point presentation on FAO’s emergency work in South Sudan, click here: FAO Presentation 12_09_14.

Today’s Featured Perspectives Essays

Submitted by Amy McMillen on September 18, 2014

By Amy McMillen, Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator, FAO-Washington, DC

Curated by the FAO Liaison Office for North America with the World Food Day Network, Perspectives is an essay series that digs deeper into the annual World Food Day theme.  This year, read different points of view on the value and future of family farming from farmers, ranchers, and leaders in agriculture, research and economics.  Two essays will be featured daily starting September 15 through October 16, World Food Day.

Today’s Perspectives come from Virginia Ñuñonca Ccallo, Farmer and Small Business Owner, Peru and Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation.

From Peru, Virginia Ñuñonca Ccallo embodies the eternal optimism and perseverance of farmers.  “I don’t feel like being a conformist… I’m going to fight. I’m going to expand my pasture. Many times people get pessimistic because of the lack of water here, but if you work hard, you can do it. I’m going to build two more reservoirs, if I can get the support.”  She will need that perseverance as her community faces the effects of climate change.  “I see the climate is changing a lot. Before it wasn’t like this. There was enough water for those who worked hard, even if others didn’t value it. Now everyone wants to work, but the rainfall has changed, and made life difficult for us.”

Bob Stallman echoes that same farmer optimism in his essay when speaking about young American farmers. “We recently released the 22nd annual survey [of young farmers and ranchers], which found that 91 percent of young people in agriculture are more optimistic about farming than they were five years ago. An equal percentage say they expect to be lifelong farmers.” Again reiterating Virginia’s focus, millions of miles away, “farmers and ranchers of all ages and types are dedicated to continuous improvement in everything they do.”

These two essays demonstrate the commonality of purpose, the optimism and the dedication of family farmers no matter where in the world they plant their seeds.

U.S. Senate recognizes the role of family farmers

Submitted by Lívia Pontes on September 18, 2014

A major milestone was achieved yesterday, September 17, in the United States in recognition of the important role of family farmers in eradicating hunger, providing nutritious food and contributing to socioeconomic, environmental, and cultural development around the world. The United States Senate passed resolution S.RES.544 to designate 2014 as the “International Year of Family Farming” (IYFF).

The Senate “congratulates family farmers in the U.S. and around the world” and “recognizes the importance of raising the profile of family farming by focusing the attention of individuals around the world on the significant role of family farming in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development in rural areas.”  The National Farmers Union (NFU), which leads the U.S. Committee for IYFF, played a key role in support of this resolution.  The full press release by NFU can be read here.

Several international initiatives are presently joining forces in view of strengthening the profile of family farmers. The United Nations (UN) designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. The UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge explicitly calls for a 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income. Finally, FAO decided to dedicate this year’s World Food Day to the theme “Family Farming – Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth.”

To learn more about World Food Day, find tools and information about family farming, and to take action, visit FAO’s World Food Day website and the website of the World Food Day Network US and Canada.

Today’s Featured Perspectives Essays

Submitted by Amy McMillen on September 17, 2014

By Amy McMillen, Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator, FAO-Washington, DC

We are so thrilled to get the series, Perspectives, off the ground and to begin sharing this unique collection of the perspectives of farmers, leaders and experts from all around the world.

Yesterday Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow on Global Agriculture and Food Policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, offered an introduction to a new video series that follows the stories of four family farmers from western Kenya, the same farmers who were featured in his most recent book, The Last Hunger Season.  These vignettes provide an intimate, vivid look into the daily lives – the daily trade-offs, the disappointments, the opportunities and the hopes – of thousands of small, family farmers across Africa.

Alongside Roger’s introduction, the first video in this special series was released.  Leonida Waynama allows us into her home to start the day during the very early hours. Her story highlights the difficult pricing cycles that farmers face because of the seasonality of their product and lack of good storage facilities.e farmers who were featured in his most recent book, The Last Hunger Season.  These vignettes provide an intimate, vivid look into the daily lives – the daily trade-offs, the disappointments, the opportunities and the hopes – of thousands of small, family farmers across Africa.

Today, from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, USA, Ann Rose demonstrates how agriculture and small business can bring people together to create a self-reliant, food-secure community. “I love this town and I wanted to help businesses come here.”  Watch and listen to Ann’s story to learn how “everybody is getting healthy food no matter what our source of income is” and how one butcher shop, Rose Mountain Butcher Shop, can make an economic impact that can change an entire community.

Last, but certainly not least, former Congressman, previous US Ambassador to the UN Agencies in Rome, Executive Director Emeritus of The Alliance to End Hunger, and life-long hunger advocate Ambassador Tony Hall emphasizes the important role of alliances to end hunger.  These coalitions address hunger from the community to the national levels, and are supported by the international platform of the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition (AAHM) established by FAO, WFP, IFAD and Bioversity. ”Environmental and food justice are branches from the same tree, one we can water with thoughtful, inclusive policy crafted by the voices of those who will benefit most…A vibrant civil society can provide a megaphone through which household and community voices can make meaningful inroads into food security and agricultural policy processes, and can spur a conversation of how best to support farming in a sustainable, long-term manner.”

Read all the essays here: Perspectives Essay Series.

World hunger falls, but 805 million still chronically undernourished

Submitted by Amy McMillen on September 16, 2014

MDG target to halve proportion of world’s hungry still within reach by end of 2015

About 805 million people in the world, or one in nine, suffer from hunger, according to a new UN report released today.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) confirmed a positive trend which has seen the number of hungry people decline globally by more than 100 million over the last decade and by more than 200 million since 1990-92. The report is published annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The overall trend in hunger reduction in developing countries means that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 is within reach, “if appropriate and immediate efforts are stepped up,” the report said. To date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDG target, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015.

“This is proof that we can win the war against hunger and should inspire countries to move forward, with the assistance of the international community as needed,” the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP, José Graziano da Silva, Kanayo F. Nwanze and Ertharin Cousin, wrote in their foreword to the report.

They stressed that “accelerated, substantial and sustainable hunger reduction is possible with the requisite political commitment,” and that “this has to be well informed by sound understanding of national challenges, relevant policy options, broad participation and lessons from other experiences.”

SOFI 2014 noted how access to food has improved rapidly and significantly in countries that have experienced overall economic progress, notably in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia. Access to food has also improved in Southern Asia and Latin America, but mainly in countries with adequate safety nets and other forms of social protection including for the rural poor.

Hunger reduction has accelerated, but some lag behind

Despite significant progress overall, several regions and sub-regions continue to lag behind. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than one in four people remain chronically undernourished, while Asia, the world’s most populous region, is also home to the majority of the hungry – 526 million people.

Latin America and the Caribbean have made the greatest overall strides in increasing food security. Meanwhile Oceania has accomplished only a modest improvement (1.7 percent decline) in the prevalence of undernourishment, which stood at 14.0 percent in 2012-14, and has actually seen the number of its hungry increase since 1990-92.

The agency heads noted that of the 63 countries which have reached the MDG target, 25 have also achieved the more ambitious World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015. However, the report indicated that time has run out on reaching the WFS target at the global level.

Creating an enabling environment through coordinated actions

With the number of undernourished people remaining “unacceptably high”, the agency heads stressed the need to renew the political commitment to tackle hunger and to transform it into concrete actions. In this context, the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP welcomed the pledge at the 2014 African Union summit in June to end hunger on the continent by 2025.

“Food insecurity and malnutrition are complex problems that cannot be solved by one sector or stakeholder alone, but need to be tackled in a coordinated way,” they added, calling on governments to work closely with the private sector and civil society.

The FAO, IFAD and WFP report specifies that hunger eradication requires establishing an enabling environment and an integrated approach. Such an approach includes public and private investments to increase agricultural productivity; access to land, services, technologies and markets; and measures to promote rural development and social protection for the most vulnerable, including strengthening their resilience to conflicts and natural disasters. The report also emphasizes the importance of specific nutrition programmes, particularly to address micronutrient deficiencies of mothers and children under five.

Case studies

This year’s report includes seven case studies – Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi and Yemen – that highlight some of the ways that countries tackle hunger and how external events may influence their capacity to deliver on achieving food security and nutrition objectives. The countries were chosen because of their political, economic – particularly in the agricultural sector – diversities, and cultural differences.

Bolivia, for example, has created institutions to involve a range of stakeholders, particularly previously marginalized indigenous people.

Brazil‘s Zero Hunger programme, which placed achievement of food security at the centre of the government’s agenda, is at the heart of progress that led the country to achieve both the MDG and WFS targets. Current programmes to eradicate extreme poverty in the country build on the approach of linking policies for family farming with social protection in a highly inclusive manner.

Haiti, where more than half the population is chronically undernourished, is still struggling to recover from the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The report notes how the country has adopted a national programme to strengthen livelihoods and improve agricultural productivity by supporting small family farmers’ access to inputs and services.

Indonesia has adopted legal frameworks and established institutions to improve food security and nutrition. Its policy coordination mechanism involves ministries, NGOs and community leaders. Measures address a wide range of challenges from agricultural productivity growth to nutritious and safe diets.

Madagascar is emerging from a political crisis and is resuming relationships with international development partners aimed at tackling poverty and malnutrition. It is also working in partnership to build resilience to shocks and climate hazards, including cyclones, droughts and locust invasions, which often afflict the island nation.

Malawi has reached the MDG hunger target, thanks to a strong and persistent commitment to boost maize production. However, malnutrition remains a challenge – 50 percent of children under five are stunted and 12.8 percent are underweight. To address the issue, the government is promoting community-based nutrition interventions to diversify production to include legumes, milk, fisheries and aquaculture, for healthier diets, and to improve incomes at the household level.

Conflict, economic downturn, low agricultural productivity and poverty have made Yemen one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. Besides restoring political security and economic stability, the government aims to reduce hunger by one-third by 2015 and to make 90 percent of the population food-secure by 2020. It also aims to reduce the current critical rates of child malnutrition by at least one percentage point per year.

The findings and recommendations of SOFI 2014 will be discussed by governments, civil society, and private sector representatives at the 13-18 October meeting of the Committee on World Food Security, at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The report will also be a focus of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome from 19-21 November, which FAO is jointly organizing with the World Health Organization. This high-level intergovernmental meeting seeks, at a global level, renewed political commitment to combat malnutrition with the overall goal of improving diets and raising nutrition levels.

Perspectives on Family Farming

Submitted by Amy McMillen on September 15, 2014

By Amy McMillen, Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator, FAO-Washington, DC

In just one month we will observe World Food Day for the 34th time!

World Food Day, October 16, marks the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and on this day since its inception millions around the world have joined FAO to draw attention to the problem of hunger. 842 million people globally don’t have enough to eat and even more lack the nutrients needed for a healthy, active life. On World Food Day we take action, we speak out, we engage more people, and we take seriously the UN Secretary-General’s challenge for a Zero Hunger World.

In conjunction with the 2014 International Year of Family Farming, this year’s World Food Day theme is “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth”. Please join the FAO and the World Food Day Network in appreciating the role that family farmers play in our communities and world. Not only do they provide the food we eat three or more times a day, but they care for the land, water and air we also need to live healthy lives. It should be surprising then that the majority of the world’s hungry people are farmers. This World Food Day, let’s recognize family farmers for their contribution to eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, boosting rural economies, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development.

Today FAO-Washington, DC & the WFD Network launched the 2014 Perspectives Essay Series. We hope you enjoy this selection of essays from family farmers from Canada, the United States and around the world, as well as, contributions from leaders and experts in agriculture, economics and conservation. Starting today through October 16, new selections will be offered daily. The series promises to be provocative, insightful and educational, and we hope it demonstrates to us all that family farmers deserve our attention and support.

Read the introductory essay by Barbara Ekwall, Senior Liaison Officer in Washington, DC for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and check back in tomorrow for two videos that will take us to the farm!

Learn more about what’s in store this World Food Day across Canada and the United States.  New events are being posted daily.

Seeking improvement in global forest governance, FAO FLEGT and EFI’s EU FLEGT Facility conduct U.S. mission

Submitted by Lívia Pontes on August 21, 2014

Around the world, illegal logging and related timber trade pose a serious problem. Major timber purchasing countries and blocks such as the European Union (EU), the U.S. and Australia have developed import requirements to promote the trade and use of legally produced timber products.

An FAO mission with the European Forest Institute’s (EFI) EU FLEGT Facility this month aimed to build closer relationships with U.S.-based institutions to

explore how different efforts can help countries address forest governance challenges. Robert Simpson and Daphne Hewitt from the EU FAO Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Program, and Melissa Othman and Didier Devers from the EU FLEGT Facility met with experts and U.S. government officials. They aimed to understand U.S. priorities and projects, and explored ways to increase collaboration and communication in forest governance arenas worldwide.

Both FAO and EFI FLEGT Programs receive funding from the EU to support forest governance initiatives within the FLEGT Action Plan. This work, among other things, supports country-led initiatives to identify challenges and develop nationally and regionally appropriate responses to forest governance issues. FAO and EFI are collaborating with U.S. institutions to strengthen forest governance in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and are seeking opportunities for more intensive global cooperation.

FAO and EFI anticipate that the mission will spur additional long-term transatlantic collaboration. By understanding priorities and objectives of U.S. actors working on forest governance, including their efforts to tackle illegal logging and associated trade, they can reduce duplication, multiply efforts and increase the potential for real impact. Ultimately, this improves forest governance and trade promotion of legal forest products, as well as other global forest issues. Read more about FLEGT here.

FAO urges sustained support for animal disease monitoring

Submitted by Amy McMillen on August 20, 2014

“Weak link” in public health protection efforts must not be neglected

Photo: Scott Nelson/WPN for FAO

Tissue samples from chickens await testing at a Nigerian laboratory.

20 August 2014, Rome – FAO today told ministers of health and agriculture meeting in Indonesia that animal disease monitoring systems require sustained support and have a critical role to play in preventing human disease threats.

“Animal health remains one the weakest links in terms of how the world deals with disease risks,” FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth said in remarks delivered at a meeting on the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) in Jakarta, Indonesia (20-21 August) being attended by human and animal health authorities and experts from around the globe

According to Lubroth, the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a “tragic reminder” not only of the need for increased support for public health systems in the developing world, but also of the importance of ensuring that countries are able to monitor and respond to animal health diseases as well.

While curbing human-to-human transmission remains the most important focus in West Africa, the epidemic there is thought to have started when the virus crossed over from infected wildlife into the human population.

Other recent outbreaks of diseases affecting humans — including avian influenza, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) — are believed to have had their start in animals. Indeed, an FAO report published last year highlighted that 70 percent of new infectious human diseases detected in recent decades are of animal origin.

Preparedness is key

“Zoonootic diseases that can make the jump from animals to humans are a real concern, but there is much that we can do before the jump occurs and outbreaks take place, causing loss of life and disrupting fragile livelihoods,” said Lubroth.

“To be more resilient in the face of such risks, countries need the resources to be able to better understand where disease is coming from and to prevent it from ever reaching people in the first place. By understanding animal health threats, we have the potential to be ahead of the curve and help prevent human tragedies from happening,” he added.

According to FAO, there is a need to rethink how the international community provides global health support, with a new focus on investment in infrastructure, systems and capacities at the national level to help reduce the risks of such emergencies happening in the first place and increase the resilience of communities and health systems to respond when they do.

To support such a transition, FAO and its partners are advocating what is known as the “One Health” approach, which looks at the interplay between environmental factors, animal health, and human health and brings human health professionals, veterinary specialists, sociologists, economists, and ecologists together to work on disease risks in a collaborative way.

At the Jakarta conference some 60 countries as well as international organizations like FAO, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are discussing how to collaborate under the auspices of the GHSA,  an international effort to strengthen health systems to help prevent, detect and respond to emerging disease threats.

In Jakarta, FAO is also making the point that better prevention of disease has long term-development benefits as well. Both animal and human diseases have broad impacts on societies, including reductions in food production and food availability that impact food security in the short term, as well as disruptions to rural economies and livelihoods that can linger for years.

Working together for a more resilient world

Submitted by Amy McMillen on August 19, 2014

On World Humanitarian Day 2014, a look at a few of the people at FAO who are helping us make a difference

Photo: ©FAO/Issouf Sanogo / FAO

Supplying herders affected by drought with fodder for their animals.

19 August marks the anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, in which 22 people lost their lives. In 2008, the UN General Assembly designated this day asWorld Humanitarian Day in an effort to raise public awareness of the crucial role that humanitarian assistance plays in improving people’s lives worldwide, and to recognize the contributions of those who risk their lives delivering it.

Today, on World Humanitarian Day, FAO celebrates the spirit of our staff: their humanitarian work in the field and their ongoing efforts to build resilience in communities around the globe.

The challenges involved in that work are great.

Around 2.5 billion people whose livelihoods depend on crops, fish, forests and livestock are continually threatened by hazards and crises.

When disasters strike, FAO immediately helps families regain the means to provide for themselves, ensuring a harvest does not pass by when families critically need that food and income.

But the same time, we work to address the root causes that put communities at risk, and try to reduce their vulnerability and increase their resilience. In many contexts, saving livelihoods saves lives.

Our staff’s commitment to communities is proactive and long-term. They work with communities – and the institutions which support them – to prevent disasters and mitigate their impact while ensuring development gains are sustainable.

They also work tirelessly and in increasingly difficult conditions to assist those most in need.

Their humanitarian efforts are a critical part of FAO’s wider efforts to build the resilience of farming, fishing, herding communities.

Today FAO also pays tribute to the strength and perseverance of the world’s farmers, fishers and herders, who continue to sow their fields, tend their animals and bring food to markets and homes, oftentimes while coping with difficult circumstances or struggling to adapt to changing conditions.

FAO humanitarian heroes

We asked a few of our colleagues: “Why do you do what you do?”

This is what they told us.

“A brighter future for me and for my society.” – Maram Abdo, Finance Assistant, FAO West Bank and Gaza Strip
“It’s an opportunity to make a difference where it is needed most, and a meaningful challenge.” – Azzam Saleh Ayasa, Head of Programme, FAO West Bank and Gaza Strip
“I’m here to help people in need. This is what it’s all about.” – Honorine Brahim, FAO Program Assistant, Democratic Republic of the Congo
“To restore hope to desperate people who end up in situations they’re often not responsible for.” – Guillaume Kahomboshi, Food Security Expert, Democratic Republic of the Congo
“It’s always a joy for me to see crisis-hit families return to work in their fields.” - Tiphaine Bueke, FAO HIV/AIDS Focual Point, Democratic Republic of the Congo
“The work is so gratifying that it is easy to forget all the difficulties, the dark moments, the problems.” – Jacopo Damelio, Operations Officer, FAO Afghanistan
“No two days are ever the same; there are always new activities and challenges. I love the dynamic environment that I work in and the fantastic people who I work with.” – Tahseen Ayyash, Field Monitor, FAO Syria

“I was born in a war torn country, I owe so much to the humanitarians for their help to the Sudanese people during the war, and it is gratifying to extend the same service to other generations who are unfortunately born into a world of conflicts and natural disasters in South Sudan.” – Nyabenyi Tipo, Emergency Livestock Officer, FAO South Sudan
“Coming from South Sudan where we have experienced so many challenges, ranging from wars, floods, diseases and droughts, it has been my desire and ambition that one day all this will come to an end through our efforts as humanitarian actors.” – YolYoal, Farmer Field School and Pastoral Field School Advisor, FAO South Sudan

To see additional profiles of humanitarian workers at FAO and elsewhere in the UN system, visit the World Humanitarian Day 2014 website.

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