Europe and Central Asia
The FAO office network serving the region is now strengthened with the subregional office for Central Asia in Ankara, and the subregional office for Central and Eastern Europe co-located with the regional office in Budapest. As a result of this, coverage by the network extends now to 51 countries (which are to increase to 53 in November 2007, subject to admission to membership of Andorra and Montenegro) and one Member Organization (the European Community). This implies an increase in the population served by 260 million people, out of which 65 million are poor, mostly living in rural areas.
Some of the countries in the Balkans and more particularly the Central Asian countries of the CIS are experiencing high poverty rates, especially in rural areas. Agriculture is still an important sector that employs a high percentage of the labour force and contributes significantly to GDP. Key areas for priority attention identified and endorsed by the Regional Conference relate to revitalising the rural sector and supporting rural livelihoods, assistance to countries in meeting requirements for eventual European Union accession as well as to facilitate access to EU markets. In addition, regional approaches to address cross-boundary issues are of high importance, together with several emerging subjects such as organic farming, biotechnology and biosafety emphasised by the Regional Conference.
For more information
Page content: not named
Regional Office: FAO-SEUR@fao.org