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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General meets Somalia’s Minister for Agriculture

“The well-being of a population is essential and depends on their healthy status and their nutrition status"- Minister Ahmed

20 November 2014, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with Somalia’s Minister for Agriculture H.E. Abdi Ahmed, who is 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 Minster informed the Director General of the work being done to rebuild Somalia’s governance institutions and embark on the recovery of the economy in the country. “At this juncture, talking about nutrition is very timely,” he said.

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.

FAO in  collaboration with Somalia

During their meeting FAO’s Director General discussed one of FAO’s biggest programmes being implemented in Somalia, which has funding of approximately USD 7 million.

While the country faces many difficulties, the Minister expressed his gratitude to FAO for support during the ongoing crisis.

The Minister stressed that together FAO and the Government of Somalia can better meet the needs of the farming communities in the country.

The Director General emphasized FAO’s strong commitment to the Minister, noting that while there are still challenges ahead, the implementation of the Strategic Plan of Action in the country, led by the Government in close collaboration with FAO and other International partners, will assist greatly in strengthening the resilience of Somalia.  

FAO reforms

The Minister also praised the Director General for FAO’s work on capacity development within the country, which has allowed Somalia’s experts to gain experience through knowledge sharing between the Organization and the Government.

“I think it is a restructuring that reflected the growing needs at the field level,” he said. According to the Minister, the most important aspect is the decentralization. He added, “That puts FAO very close to the community of farmers, that are the heart of the mission of FAO.”