Rome, 4 September 2003 - Bangladesh will send over 30 field technicians and experts to the Gambia to work with local experts, as part of a quadripartite agreement signed between the two countries, funded by the Islamic Development Bank and supported by FAO, the agency announced today.

The agreement is part of FAO's South-South Cooperation Programme, a global initiative which aims to strengthen cooperation among developing countries at different stages of development to improve agricultural productivity and ensure access to food for all.

Financed by the Islamic Development Bank, Bangladesh will send 5 experts and 28 field technicians to the Gambia over a two or three-year period.

They will work on small-scale rural projects to improve water management and bolster the production of foods such as cereals, fruit and vegetables, small animals and fish.

The project is one element in a broader programme to improve the country's food security.

The South-South Cooperation Programme is part of FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) designed to improve the food security of some of the world's poorest countries by rapidly increasing food production, improving people's access to food and reducing their vulnerability to climatic events such as drought and floods.

Today SPFS is operational in 74 countries and under preparation in a further 14.

Some 27 host countries have signed a South-South agreement with a cooperating country and FAO.

The agreement was signed by Gambian government representative Yusupha Alieu Kah, Shahidul Islam on behalf of Bangladesh, Amadou Boubacar Cisse of the Islamic Development Bank and Assistant Director-General Henri Carsalade for FAO.

Stephanie Holmes
FAO Media Relations
(+39) 06 570 56350