United Nations

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was founded on 16 October 1945 in Quebec (Canada). Its members currently include 194 states and the European Union. It is the largest specialised agency of the United Nations and is based in Rome. José Graziano da Silva has been Director-General of FAO since 1 January 2012. Every year, 16 October is celebrated as World Food Day.

The aims of FAO are:

  • to help raise living standards, improve nutrition, and overcome hunger and malnutrition
  • to improve the production and distribution of ag­ri­cul­tur­al products
  • to create favourable living conditions for rural populations and
  • to promote global economic de­vel­op­ment

The fields of work of FAO are:

  • to act as a global (conference) forum for food and ag­ri­cul­ture issues (including fisheries and forestry) and
  • to provide advice to governments regarding matters of ag­ri­cul­tur­al policy and the drawing up of national food security and pov­er­ty reduction strategies.

The FAO regular budget for the 2012-2013 biennium is 1 billion US dollars. Germany is the third largest contributor behind the USA and Japan. In addition to this, voluntary contributions are expected to be more than 1.4 billion US dollars in 2012-13.

More information


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome

Phone: +39 / 06 / 5 70 51
Fax: +39 / 06 / 57 05 31 52

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