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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General meets Yemen Ministers

“Nutrition is a top priority for Yemen,” - H.E. Farid Ahmed Mujawar

20 November 2014, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met today with Yemen’s Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation H.E. Farid Ahmed Mujawar, as well as the country’s

Minister of Public Health & Population Dr. Reyad Yassin Abdulla, who are here in Rome to attend the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place this week.

The ICN2 is an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The two main outcome documents of the conference are the Rome Declaration on Nutrition: a political commitment document, and the Framework for Action: a technical guide for implementation.

Both Ministers opened the meeting expressing great thanks to the Director General for hosting ICN2 and striving to place nutrition high on the global agenda.

The Director General expressed his appreciation for the presence of both Ministers at the conference.

During the conference this week, the Minister of Agriculture addressed the Plenary providing an overview of burdens facing the Yemen.

“Approximately 1 million people suffer from food insecurity, and more than 54% of the children are also suffering from shortages and malnutrition, which has led to health complications such as disease outbreaks and epidemics,” he said. The Minister added that there are other issues of great concern to his Government including the high instances of stunting, the lack of food, food waste as well as the overall stability of the country.

In their meeting, the Minister addressed these concerns and underlined the excellent collaboration Yemen has had with the country office in Sana’a, as well as with FAO’s Regional Office for North Africa and the Near East based in Cairo. The Minister expressed his satisfaction with the collaboration between FAO and the Government of Yemen in producing the National Plan of Action 2014-2018 to develop the country’s agriculture sector and build its resilience.  

Crisis Management

The Minister of Agriculture also raised the issue of the desert locust crisis that has devastated parts of the country.  The Government of Yemen extended their gratitude to FAO for the strong commitment and work in assisting the country to combat this issue.  

The country is encouraged by the rehabilitation of the Desert Locust Monitoring and Control Centre (DLMCC) in Yemen, that has been realized  through the assistance of FAO,  with funding from the United States of America.

The Ministers also highlighted that they were happy to report that the Yemeni Government has come to an agreement with The Netherlands to address water scarcity in the country. This will be achieved by working on a sustainability project for the country’s water resources, the technical elements of which will be led by FAO.

According to the Minister of Health, under Yemen’s new government, the country is committed to continuing its engagement with International Organizations like FAO and WHO to rebuild capacity.

The Director General expressed that FAO will continue to offer its full support to Yemen in its struggle against hunger and malnutrition.

The Minister concluded by noting that the results of planting Quinoa in various testing sites were very positive. He stated that prior to distributing seeds to the farmers, an economic evaluation study would be needed and hoped that FAO could assist in this matter.