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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General meets with President of Egypt

“Egypt and FAO have a lot of work to do together” – President Al Sisi

25 November 2014, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva yesterday met with the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.

“Egypt and FAO have a lot of work to do together,” President Al Sisi said.

President Al Sisi shared with FAO Director-General the major goals of the Agricultural Initiative that Egypt is implementing. The initiative includes specific measures such as the introduction of modern irrigation and drainage systems and the reclamation of nearly half a million hectares within a year (one million feddans). Ultimately, the initiative aims at cultivating four million feddans nationwide.

Another objective of the initiative is to improve the protein consumption by developing Egypt’s aquaculture sector.

Moreover, the President highlighted some additional positive effects of the initiative, such as decreasing his country’s dependency on food imports and creating employment opportunities for youth and recent graduates who will be joining the One Million Feddan Initiative.

Historical relationship

The FAO Director-General underlined the historically strong relationship between FAO and Egypt and thanked the country for hosting the FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa, in Cairo since 1947.

Da Silva congratulated the President for the “ambitious” programme he presented and reaffirmed FAO’s willingness to further strengthen its collaboration with Egypt in all efforts to develop agriculture and ensure food security and safety.

In relation to the intended modernizing of the irrigation and drainage systems, FAO Director-General recalled that the first of the three FAO Regional Initiatives that are being implemented in the Near East and North addresses the water scarcity issue. He added that the other two deal with food security and nutrition and small scale agriculture.

Egypt’s role in the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

Da Silva informed President Al Sisi on the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which was jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) and held at FAO headquarters from 19 to 21 November  

He referred to the Political Declaration and the Framework for Action document that were adopted, and underlined the importance of having concrete policies and actions undertaken by member countries to address malnutrition and ensure a healthier diet.

The FAO chief expressed his appreciation for the important role Egypt played in the preparation of the conference and his gratitude for the support provided by Egypt’s Permanent Representative to FAO.