Minister for Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini met today with President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Kanayo Nwanze.
Ahead of the IFAD Governors Council to be held on 17 February, today’s meeting centred on the theme of food security, which has taken a higher place over the past year on Italy’s international political agenda, and been the focus of a series of major events: The L’Aquila G8 summit and the launch of the Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI ); the FAO summit and completion of the Food Security Committee reform.
President Nwanze thanked the Italian governor for his support for IFAD and for having contributed as President of the G8 to elevating the international political profile of the food security issue. He then underscored IFAD’s essential role in that context in light of its traditional commitment to the promotion and enhancement of the economic activities of small farmers, and particularly of women. He then recalled that the Fund’s mandate is not one of simple aid distribution but as impetus to economic sustainability initiatives aimed at creating a more favourable economic environment. President Nwanze also reiterated the centrality of initiatives in Africa and the link between agriculture and climate change, now included among IFAD’s priorities.
Minister Frattini expressed his appreciation both for the recent IFAD reforms as well as for the success of the 8th replenishment of its resources, which is significant confirmation of member countries’ trust in this instrument, to which Italy is one of the top contributors. It was agreed that coordination needs to be tighter between the various institutions of the Rome “hub” (FAO, IFAD, WFP), each of which has a specific mandate complementary to the others and all of which remain central to food security policies.