QUITO, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian Vice President Maria Alejandra Munoz on Tuesday called for a transformation of the world's food systems in 2021, a year in which global efforts should be made to slow and reverse the damage from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"Transforming food systems to guarantee access to healthy eating is not an option, it is our obligation and it is urgent," she said.
The proposal was made during a speech delivered virtually at the 36th Regional Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for Latin America and the Caribbean, which opened on Oct. 19 and aims to analyze the main regional challenges in food and agriculture.
Munoz said that the world has changed, and the transformation of food systems that is now "under the multidimensional magnifying glass of poverty and vulnerable sectors" requires firm leadership from various parts of society.
"The fight against hunger is a development objective and it is a peace objective," she said.
According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the number of people living in poverty in the region will increase by an additional 45 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and another 28.5 million will fall into extreme poverty.
"The social and productive fabric has been impacted, as have the Sustainable Development Goals in general, and the challenges ahead require doubling efforts and doing it together, with creativity and discipline," she said.