To commemorate the 10th F.A.O. Regional Conference for the Near East, the first conference of its kind being held in Pakistan at Islamabad from 12th to 22nd September 1970, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a postage stamp of 20-Paisa denomination on 12.9.1970.
There has never been any time in history of mankind when every body in the world had plenty of food. Even today some-thing like 16 per cent of the world’s people are underfed or actually hungry. About one-half of world’s people do not get enough of the quality foods, particularly the proteins needed for a healthy and productive life.
The Food and Agricultural Organi-zation (FAO) of the United Nations is an agency for international action, to fight poverty, malnutrition and hunger which affect half the people in the world, It is an independent organization in the United Nations family of specialized agen-cies which was set up in 1945 to help the people of the world in their fight against hunger and malnutrition. Its member-ship has increased from 42 countries in 1945 to 119 today.
FAO is a force of about 5,500 men and women working all over the world to gauge the extent and complexity of the food problem and to help solve it by providing advice and technical assistance and by helping to mobilize capital backing for development programme. FAO has three pronged activities. It collects, analysis and disseminates basic inform-ation about food and agriculture; through its international technical staff; it provides direct technical advice and aid to member countries; and it promotes co-operative action for solving general and regional problems.
FAO has divided the world into various regions. Pakistan due to it’s geographical situation falls both in the Near East Region and Asia and the Far East Region. Regional Conferences are held regularly every second year during the non- FAO’s Main Conference year. The sessions of the Conference are held in Member Countries of the Region by rotation as far as possible. There are 19 member countries of the Near East Region. The l0th~FAO Regional Confe-rence for Near East Is in the series of these meetings and is being held in Pakistan for the first time. This is one of the most Important meetings of the FAO, the primary role of which is to faci-litate policy decisions at high level with regard to national and international ac-tion for a coordinated development of agriculture in the Region.
Pakistan has been an active mem-ber of the FAO and has received substan-tial aid from this organization under its various programmes. Under the World Food Programme and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, Pakistan has received aid to the tune of Rs. 47.8 million. Besides, large number of experts and training facilities have been provided by FAQ. It was through the active cooper-ation of the FAQ that Pakistan is steadily advancing on the road to Green Revolution.
FAO has recently enunciated its new strategy of development. It consists of the following five areas of concentra-tion
(i) High Yielding Varieties of Basic Food Crops;
(ii) Bridging the Protein gap;
(iii) War on Waste;
(iv) Mobilizing human resources; and
(v) Earning and saving of foreign exchange.
These are considered ‘Five keys to development’ and FAQ and its member countries are keen to concentrate on them with a view to accelerating food production in individual countries and the world as a whole to fight hunger and malnutrition. With concerted coopera-tive effort, it is hoped mankind may one day solve the food problem.