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Press Release 99/77

BANGLADESH, CHINA AND FAO SIGN AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE ACCORD AS PART OF THE SPECIAL PROGRAMME FOR FOOD SECURITY


Rome, 6 December -- The governments of Bangladesh and China, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today signed an agreement to send Chinese experts and technicians to assist the agricultural sector in Bangladesh, the UN agency announced. Initially, 15 experts and technicians from China will work for three years in Bangladesh to identify and implement together with their counterparts a number of small rural projects to enhance production of cereals, vegetables, fruit, small animals, artisanal fisheries and aquaculture. Some 50 more Chinese technicians are expected to join the first group shortly.

South-South Cooperation provides an opportunity to strengthen cooperation among developing countries at different stages of development, with the support of interested donor countries and the FAO. It operates under the framework of FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), helping countries benefit from the experience and expertise of more advanced developing countries. FAO Director-General Dr. Jacques Diouf launched the initiative at the beginning of 1997.

The projects will specifically focus on eliminating socio-economic obstacles to the development of food production. The governments of both countries and FAO will fund the effort.

The Special Programme for Food Security is operational in 51 countries -- 30 in Africa, 12 in Asia and the Near East, 6 in Latin America, 2 in Europe and 1 in Oceania -- more than 60 percent of the world's poorest countries. Additional SPFS projects are under formulation in 25 other countries.

Signing the tripartite agreement were: Muhammad Zamir, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to FAO, Liang Qu, Permanent Representative and Minister Plenipotentiary of China to FAO and FAO Assistant Director-General for Technical Cooperation, A. Regnier.

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Contact: John Riddle
Telephone: (39) 06 57 05 32 59
e-mail: john.riddle@fao.org


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