FAO hand in hand with Italy in the fight against COVID-19
FAO is illuminating its headquarters in Rome with the green-white-red colours of the Italian "Tricolore" flag, as a sign of solidarity with its host country as it grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic. The lights were turned on this evening and will stay on until the novel coronavirus crisis ends.This year marks FAO's 75th anniversary. The Organization has been based in Rome since 1951. "Italy is our host country, and we are deeply grateful for the tremendous support it has been providing to FAO over the last 70 years which has helped the Organization to fulfil its global mandate," said FAO's Director-General QU Dongyu. "In this moment of grave difficulty and concern, we want to express our closeness to the Italian institutions, to the doctors and medical staff fighting the virus on the frontlines, and to the Italian people that arenow facing a challenge of unprecedented proportions". Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, FAO has been working together with its partners to support countries to anticipate and mitigate the pandemic's impacts onfood security and livelihoods. In a recent statement, FAO has expressed concerns that the impacts of Covid-19 on food and agriculture systems could restrict people's access to sufficient, diverse and nutritious sources of food, especially in countries already affected by high levels of food insecurity. FAO warns of a looming food crisisunless measures are swiftly taken to protect the most vulnerable and to keep global food supply chains functioning. Since the beginning of the outbreak, FAO has also implemented a series of precautionary measures to protect its employees and their families against the threat of the coronavirus. All Rome-based FAO staff is now working remotely from home in accordance with guidelines provided by the Italian Government. In addition, FAO has also been progressively postponing or cancelling large gatherings. The initiative of illuminating FAO's headquarters in Rome has been possible due to in kind collaboration by one of FAO's long-standing exhibit and event providers.