A United Nations Global Action Programme was launched recently at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which seeks to address the pressing challenges regarding food security and nutrition in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) regions.
SIDS are especially debilitated by natural disasters and the effects of climate change because of their small size and isolation. Many have limited arable agricultural land and are dependent on small-scale agriculture, ocean resources and high-priced imports. Taking this into consideration, the initiative was developed jointly by FAO, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS). The Global Action Programme plans to accomplish three objectives: (i) the creation of enabling environments for food security and nutrition; (ii) the promotion of sustainable, resilient and nutrition-sensitive food systems, and (iii) the empowerment of people and communities for improved food security and nutrition.
Regarding the nutrition situation, José Graziano da Silva, director general of FAO said,” The triple burden of malnutrition is a reality among many SIDS countries. This means that undernourishment, micronutrient deficiency and obesity coexist within the same country, the same communities and even the same households.”
FAO has scaled up its work with the SIDS in recent years. Last month during the Ocean Conference in New York, FAO presented a commitment to increase economic benefits to SIDS countries through the Blue Growth Initiative. In particular, this will be done through three specific regional SIDS projects, with funding worth approximately $16 million from FAO’s budget.