The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, opened the “Health-Nutrition-Agriculture Nexus” Forum, organised as part of the Rome Med (Mediterranean Dialogues) 2020 Conference.
“The Covid-19 pandemic put the food chain under unprecedented pressure, which is rather worrying if one considers that the food sector is one of the most important in the economy”, said Ms Del Re. “The greatest impact was on the subsistence means of small farmers and other players in the chain, as well as people in vulnerable situations, in addition to its environmental and health effects, especially in developing Countries. We therefore understand the fundamental importance of defining strategies to mitigate the pandemic’s effects on the food chain”.
According to Vice Minister Del Re, agriculture and food systems “play an essential role when it comes to improving alimentation and health, especially in relation to preventing non-transmissible diseases”.
“Promoting research and information can result in producing and distributing safer food and a healthy diet, with positive results on the wellness of individuals, thereby contributing to healthy communities and economies”, continued the Vice Minister, pointing out that these are traditional priorities for Italian cooperation in development. She then referred to the Food Coalition, launched on 5 November this year, which gave rise to “a new phase in global efforts to strengthen food systems. “The Food Coalition is also a global alliance for avoiding the health crisis becoming a food crisis”, added the Vice Minister, recalling, in this sense, the United Nations Summit on food systems, to be held in July 2021. “The Summit will provide solutions for adapting current food systems - deemed non-sustainable - in order to enhance reconstruction after the Covid-19 crisis, with the transformative aim of attaining their sustainability. Italy will host some of the preparatory activities, leading up to the Summit”.