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UNIC Beirut brings together UN agencies and NGOs in Coalition for food advocacy

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26 March 2018
UNIC Beirut brings together UN agencies and NGOs in Coalition for food advocacy
Recognizing the need for food-related awareness, and the wealth of active Lebanese NGOs for food advocacy, the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut) brought together Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), and several Lebanese NGOs to establish the “Lebanese Food Coalition.”

The Coalition comes within the framework of promoting the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goals 2 (zero hunger), 12 (responsible consumption and production), and 17 (partnerships for the goals). Recognizing the potential for synergy among local actors, and in consultation with UN colleagues, UNIC Beirut proposed the formation of a group of organizations to coordinate efforts on food advocacy and action in Lebanon. The Coalition was thus founded by core members Act4Tomorrow, Bonheur du Ciel, Caritas, FoodBlessed and Lebanese FoodBank. It remains an open-membership to all food-related organizations. The United Nations is not part of the coalition, but will be constantly supporting it through FAO, WFP and UNIC Beirut.

The Coalition is meant to serve as a call for action to the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector in Lebanon to urge action towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger). Its main proposed activities include awareness and advocacy campaigns to promote sustainable production and consumption patterns and increase awareness on food waste and the risks of food insecurity; as well as undertaking food redistribution activities. UNIC Beirut offered its support and experience in mass communication and networking alongside those of FAO and WFP to jointly facilitate coalition activities for 2018.

Acting director of UNIC Beirut, Ms. Margo Helou, highlighted the importance of synergy and collaboration in our efforts to achieve the SDGs, especially Zero Hunger. She reiterated the UN Secretary-General’s call to invest in food security and rural development to create more “resilient communities, ” and emphasized that “we must all do our part.” She concluded by appreciating the UN agencies who heeded the call, and the NGOs in Lebanon who have been “pioneers” in fighting hunger.