KOREA – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have formalized their joint commitment to strengthen global food safety by allocating U.S$3 million to enhance efforts in this critical area.

This partnership comes at a pivotal moment when food systems worldwide are undergoing transformation to become more efficient, resilient, sustainable, and safer.

Annually, foodborne diseases claim the lives of approximately 420,000 individuals, with one-third of the victims being children under the age of five.

These diseases not only result in tragic human losses but also affect over 600 million people, with significant economic losses exceeding U.S$110 billion.

The new project, titled “Empowering low- and middle-income countries to leverage One Health to improve food safety and fair trade,” builds upon a framework agreement on food safety and standard setting signed between FAO and the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) in 2021.

This project complements the ongoing activities of the “Action to Support Implementation of Codex AMR (ACT)” project, another food safety initiative funded by the Republic of Korea.

The investment supports a One Health approach to address food safety in low- and middle-income countries, recognizing the interconnectedness of food systems, human health, plants, animals, and the environment.

The project focuses on capacity-building for foodborne risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication in Mongolia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Jaeyoung Lee, Director General of the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau of MFDS, expressed Korea’s satisfaction in supporting the project, emphasizing its role in enabling countries to establish a One Health approach to food safety.

Corinna Hawkes, ESF Director at FAO, highlighted the shared commitment to global food safety and the potential for positive change through international collaboration.

She noted that the project would not only benefit the recipient countries but also contribute to a broader transformation of agrifood systems, facilitating a smooth transition towards enhanced food safety and security.

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