Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a severe and widespread increase in global food insecurity, affecting vulnerable households in almost every country, with OIC member states having their own bitter share of the pandemic impact.
In its message to the 8th session of the OIC ministerial conference on food security and agricultural development held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 27 October, the OIC General Secretariat highlighted a UN report that the number of undernourished people in the world increased from 650 million in 2019 to 811 million in 2020 and that majority of these people belong to OIC member states. In addition, according to World Food Program (WFP) estimates, currently more than 60 million people in 11 OIC countries are facing hunger.
The General Secretariat observed that there have been several major developments since the 7th OIC Ministerial Conference on Food Security and Agricultural Development held in Astana (now Nur-Sultan), Kazakhstan, in April 2016.
Notable developments include the elaboration of the three cooperation frameworks on the development of strategic agricultural commodities, namely: Rice, Wheat and Cassava. “Accordingly, these documents, which have been submitted for the consideration of this meeting, aim at increasing domestic production of these strategic agro-food commodities in order to progressively reduce import dependence; increasing the share of OIC countries in global exports of these commodities; and contributing to eliminating poverty and food insecurity,” added the statement.
In this context, the General Secretariat urged effective implementation of the resolutions and programs of the OIC in the domain of agriculture, rural development, and food security.