The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates to "let there be bread". Founded in October 1945, the FAO is the oldest existing agency of the U.N.
The FAO is headquartered in Rome, Italy and maintains regional and field offices around the world, operating in over 130 countries. It helps governments and development agencies coordinate their activities to improve and develop agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and land and water resources. It also conducts research, provides technical assistance to projects, operates educational and training programs, and collects data on agricultural output, production, and development.
Composed of 197 member states, the FAO is governed by a biennial conference representing each member country and the European Union, which elects a 49-member executive council. The Director-General, currently Qu Dongyu of China, serves as the chief administrative officer. There are various committees governing matters such as finance, programs, agriculture, and fisheries.