On the sidelines of the 36th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Ministerial Conference, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan met with Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), and Akram Musa Hadi Al Hakim, Iraq’s Acting Minister of Agriculture.
“The World Food Program works tirelessly to fight hunger and food insecurity around the world,” said Merrigan. “This meeting was an opportunity for me to thank the WFP on behalf of USDA and the entire U.S. government and reiterate how much the United States values its partnership with this important organization.”
As the United States finalizes its global hunger and food security strategy, it will rely on the WFP’s resources and expertise in safety nets, storage, transportation and logistics to ensure its efforts have the most impact in developing countries.
Merrigan is the first woman to chair the FAO conference, which was last chaired by the United States 20 years ago. As chair, Merrigan is overseeing discussions on the ongoing FAO reform effort and officiated as heads of delegations presented their country’s view of the state of food and agriculture at the conference’s plenary session.
The Conference is the supreme governing body of FAO and meets in regular session every two years. Its main functions are to determine the policies of the organization, approve the program of work and budget and make recommendations to members and international organizations.