USUN Chargé d’Affaires Thomas M. Duffy joined the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s President Gilbert F. Houngbo and the World Food Programme (WFP)’s Executive Director David Beasley) when they made a joint visit to Ethiopia from September 1-4 . The heads of the three UN food agencies visited the country to highlight the critical food and nutrition security situation. Back-to-back droughts have caused hunger to soar and malnutrition rates to rise to alarming levels. The agency chiefs discussed how best to strengthen their support to the Government and its systems so that Ethiopia can continue meeting its development goals while simultaneously addressing humanitarian challenges along the way. In the worst-affected parts of the country, in the south and south-east, rains have failed for the third consecutive year. More than 8.5 million people require food assistance in the second half of 2017.