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New FAO Head Says Agency Will Increase Support To Countries Experiencing Prolonged Food Crises

The new head of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Director-General José Graziano da Silva, began work on January 1, “pledging [on Tuesday] to increase the agency’s support to poor countries experiencing prolonged food crises,” the U.N. News Centre reports (1/3). He “said volatility in food markets was likely to continue due to economic instability and currency market fluctuations,” according to Reuters (Hornby, 1/3).

“FAO, which is the U.N.’s biggest specialized agency with a $1 billion budget, has been battling the effects of wild swings in food prices that have particularly affected poor countries,” the Associated Press writes (1/3). “Graziano da Silva said the Sahelian region of West Africa, where many countries are facing ‘food deficits’ and unable to feed their populations, would be a key target of FAO’s programs,” according to the U.N. News Centre (1/3).