A Devex event in partnership with IFAD

Spotlight Our Food Our Future:

Better Nutrition, Better Resilience

DECEMBER 17, 2020

9 a.m. ET | 3 p.m. CET


About the Event

On Thursday, Dec. 17, Devex and the International Fund for Agricultural Development will host the third and final online event as part of the Recovery. Rebuilding. Resilience. series, which aims to shed light on how rural communities are facing, and often overcoming, the potentially devastating impacts of COVID-19 and other shocks to their health, productivity, and incomes.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, food systems around the globe faced notable challenges, including the impacts of climate change and other man-made disasters. Now, social distancing, restrictions on movement, and broken supply chains are making it even more difficult to grow, transport, process, distribute, and sell food.

This event, hosted in the lead up to the Food Systems Summit 2021, will highlight the urgent need to guarantee accessible and affordable quality foods for all – especially as the economic consequences of the pandemic deepen. We will explore how to make projects more nutrition sensitive, but also look at the importance of addressing malnutrition by supporting the availability of nutritious local foods, balanced diets, and efforts to address and combat obesity.

We encourage you to join the online conversation using #DevexEVENT, #FundAgriculture, and #InvestInRuralPeople.


9:00 a.m. ET

Welcome & introduction

9:05 a.m. ET

Opening remarks by Dr. Martin Frick, Deputy to the Special Envoy for the U.N. Food Systems Summit 2021

9:15 a.m. ET

Fireside chat with Cristina Bowerman, Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur

9:25 a.m. ET

Videos: Voices from the ground

9:30 a.m. ET

Panel discussion with Dr. Donal Brown, Aksel Jakobsen, Isatou Jallow and Raj Kumar — including a special video message from Emanuela Del Re, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Italy.

10:00 a.m. ET

Video Presentation with Dr. Satoshi Ezoe, Director, Global Health Policy Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.

10:05 a.m. ET

Closing remarks


Dr. Martin Frick

Deputy of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Food System Summit 2021

Martin Frick is the Deputy of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Food System Summit 2021. He served before as the Senior Director of UN Climate Change where he was overseeing the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the secretariat's Climate Action work. As programme director for former Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Foundation, he developed the founding narrative of climate justice. He previously served as Director for Climate Change at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He was the German representative for human rights and humanitarian affairs at the UN General Assembly and served as the European Union’s lead negotiator in the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council.

Aksel Jakobsen

Aksel Jakobsen

State Secretary of International Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Jakobsen is State Secretary of International Development for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to taking up his current post, he worked as an advisor to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and he has previously acted as senior policy advisor to the Christian Democratic Party’s Parliamentary group and as political advisor to the former Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour. He serves as a member of the Board of the Norwegian think tank “Skaperkraft”, which aims to stimulate reflection and engagement around societal challenges. Jakobsen has a law degree from the University of Tromsø.

Emanuela C. Del Re

Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy

Emanuela C. Del Re is a scholar, sociologist and expert in conflict studies, migration, refugee issues, minorities and religion. She obtained the title of Associated Professor in Sociology by the Italian Ministry of Education and Research in 2014. Previously, she was a Professor on European Culture(s), Citizenship(s) and Governance at the University La Sapienza of Rome. She has been a researcher at the European University Institute (1997 -2000) and Research Fellow at the University of Rome La Sapienza (2001-2003). She is the Sociology of Religion National Coordinator of the Italian Sociological Association (AIS) since 2017, Secretariat Member of the Forum for Cities in Transition, and Founder of EPOS Intl. Mediating and Negotiating Operational Agency which is active in conflict areas.

Cristina Bowerman

Cristina Bowerman

Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur

Cristina Bowerman is a multi-talented chef with a passion for travel and innovative cooking. After many years abroad in the United States, she has returned to Italy, keen on inspiring a new generation of female chefs and leading a fresh, modern era of Italian cooking. Her creative plates are rooted in Italian tradition with international flair.

Dr. Satoshi Ezoe

Dr. Satoshi Ezoe

Director, Global Health Policy Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

Dr. Satoshi Ezoe has worked in Japan’s public health and global health arena over decades. Currently, he serves as Director, Global Health Policy Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), since August 2020. Prior to joining MOFA, he was engaged in health care and public health policy in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, including in the areas of global health, universal health insurance system, non-communicable diseases including mental health and cancer control. He was seconded to UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva (2009-2012).

Isatou Jallow

Founder & Executive Director, AfriCAN - Africa Catalyzing Action for Nutrition Network

Isatou Jallow is a nutritionist and a gender advocate with experience spanning over three decades at national, regional and global levels. She is currently Executive Director of a newly established network AfriCAN – Africa Catalyzing Action for Nutrition, where the focus is on harnessing local resources to improve nutrition sustainably on the continent. Previous positions held include Chief of Women, Children and Gender at the UN World Food Programme; Senior Nutrition and Partnership Advisor at the African Union NEPAD; and Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency, The Gambia. Isatou served on the CGIAR System Management Board from 2018 to 2020, contributing to the One CGIAR reform process. As an advocate, Isatou continues to use her voice to put nutrition and women at the center of development at all levels.

Dr. Donal Brown

Dr. Donal Brown

Associate Vice-President of the Programme Management Department, IFAD

Dr. Brown is responsible for developing and managing the operations that the Fund supports through its loans and grants which amounts to approximately US$ 8 billion of IFAD financing. He oversees the Programme of work of the department, which is undertaken by five regional divisions, spread across fifteen country hubs and forty country offices, and the Operational Policy and Results Division. Brown previously worked at the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development in a number of senior positions both in HQ and in a range of countries, most recently as the Africa Director, managing 550 staff across the continent. In 2014-2015, he led UK's Ebola Task Force in Sierra Leone and was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his efforts to control the crisis.

Raj Kumar

Raj Kumar

President & Editor-in-Chief, Devex

Raj Kumar is the Founding President and Editor-in-Chief at Devex, the media platform for the global development community. He is a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His work has led him to more than 50 countries, where he has had the honor to meet many of the aid workers and development professionals who make up the Devex community. He is the author of the book "The Business of Changing the World," a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.

In partnership with

Devex International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.

Devex International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)