ITALY – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Kingdom of Spain have released the first edition of their partnership report entitled, ” FAO + Spain: Working for global food security and nutrition to mark their long-standing co-operation” in a virtual event.

FAO’s director general was joined by Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas Puchades, and Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau.

They acknowledged their joint efforts to fight global hunger and malnutrition in the past decade and pledged to further strengthen their partnership in the future.

“I highly commend Spain’s determination to ensure that the fight against hunger and malnutrition remains high on the global political agenda, a commitment that has, over the years, reached the highest levels of leadership in the country,” said Qu Dongyu, the director general of FAO.

Minister Planas Puchades applauded FAO for the formidable role it is playing and stressed that the Government of Spain and FAO were working together to find global solutions to combat malnutrition and hunger so that no one was left behind.

The partnership report captures the nature and scope of the cooperation between the two entities over the past ten years and features areas where results have been attained at a global, regional and country level.

“The report we are launching today conveys the spirit of our excellent collaboration.  It shows how our joint efforts have translated into concrete results on the ground,” Qu stated.

He thanked the Minister for the country’s generous funding and support for over 240 programmes and projects while noting the significant opportunities for further cooperation and knowledge exchange.

Secretary of State Moreno Bau spelt out various initiatives backed by Spain in Africa, Asia, and Central America to underline Spain’s commitment and shared objectives with the organization to eradicate hunger and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During his intervention, Qu also highlighted the country’s support for the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), for which FAO has designated four Spanish rural sites, and noted the great potential for these sites to be part of a strong global effort to revitalize rural areas.

GIAHS are outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems and a valuable cultural heritage.

FAO recently signed collaboration agreements with a number of Spanish entities.

Nevertheless, joint efforts to augment food security, shield the livelihoods of farming families, advance the resilience of rural communities and support activities aligned with achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become even more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many years Spain has been an important partner and worked closely with FAO, primarily focusing on the fisheries sector and the promotion of policies that guarantee the right to food, protect plant genetic resources and food security.