20 October 2011 The United Nations and the United States Peace Corps signed an agreement today to cooperate in combating worldwide hunger by increasing food security in the 76 countries where the more than 8,600 US volunteers currently work.
The agreement, signed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN World Food Programme (WFP) at their Rome headquarters, builds on years of cooperation with the 50-year-old US organization.
“FAO and the Peace Corps have a long history of working together in rural communities throughout the world,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said. “This agreement signals a renewed, enhancedThrough the important partnerships with FAO and WFP, Peace Corps volunteers will have access to more tools and technical expertise to help improve food security in the communities they serve. commitment to harnessing the respective strengths and expertise of our three organizations to tackle the root causes of hunger and ensure sustainable food security and economic development.”
Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams underscored his organization’s commitment to doing its part to tackle the critical issue of food security at the grassroots level. “Through the important partnerships with FAO and WFP, Peace Corps volunteers will have access to more tools and technical expertise to help improve food security in the communities they serve,” he said.
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran highlighted the shared commitment of all three organizations “to give vulnerable individuals in the many nations where we all work a hand up, not just a hand out, to improve their own ability to produce and access food for their families and communities.”
The Peace Corps has worked with FAO and WFP in nearly 40 countries, sharing techniques and practices identified to promote food security through broad-based citizen participation, education, and capacity building. In Swaziland, WFP provided Peace Corps volunteers training on sustainable gardening and organic farming techniques and worked with the volunteers to provide nutrition and hygiene education to children.
In Liberia, four volunteers have been assigned to WFP to provide information to community leaders on proper food storage, handling, and cooking at local schools, while in Namibia, the Peace Corps has worked with FAO in organizing a community garden workshop to grow vegetables.
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