FAO Director-General meets with Iraq’s Minister for Agriculture
24 February 2014, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva thanked Iraq’s Minister of Agriculture, His Excellency Ezz Eddin Abdullah Hussain Al Dawlah, for the country’s long-standing cooperation and support to FAO, as they met on the sidelines of the 32nd Regional Conference for the Near East (NERC) at FAO headquarters today.
The Minister reported on the good start of the NERC-32 and congratulated the Director-General for the numerous activities and regional initiatives that will be discussed and presented during the sessions of the conference, which is structured under the theme “For a resilient and food secure region.”
Graziano da Silva highlighted the importance of the Minister’s presence in the regional conference and thanked him for attending the sessions.
The Minister expressed his hope that the newly established Near East and North Africa Solidarity Trust Fund will start its activities soon, noting that Iraq was the first country to contribute with a 2 million dollar donation.
The regional trust fund encourages funding from the region, to the region. It was set up in order to support the implementation and scaling-up of regional programmes and high-impact country projects.
Agriculture in Iraq accounts for 8% of the GDP, 40 % of employment and 20 % of the labour force. It is the second largest contributor to the Iraqi economy after oil, and has strong potential to contribute to economic development and food security in the country.
Watch the video interview with His Excellency Ezz Eddin Abdullah Hussain Al Dawlah here.